Vice President Mike Pence left the Indianapolis Colts NFL game early on Sunday after players kneeled during the national anthem as a protest against systemic racism -- but many people suspect the White House of orchestrating the stunt at the expense of taxpayers.
In a tweet on Sunday, NBC's Peter Alexander reported that Pence's press pool was ordered to wait outside the game because the vice president had planned to leave early.
FLAG: Was Pence leaving Colts game a political stunt? Reporters were told to stay in van bc "there may be an early departure from the game."
— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) October 8, 2017
Speaking on MSNBC, Alexander explained why many people were dubious about Pence's departure from the game, beginning with the fact that Trump admitted that it was his idea in a tweet praising Pence.
"The vice president was just in Las Vegas speaking about the desire for unity in this country," Alexander noted. "Then he flew last night in Indianapolis with the sole purpose of going to this football game... where his team would be playing the San Francisco 49ers, the team where Colin Kaepernick obviously began this entire situation by taking a knee last season during the national anthem."
"So, Pence went to the game, as soon as he saw someone take a knee, he left," he continued. "And as we understand right now, he's already on a plane in route to Los Angeles for a political fundraiser."
Alexander also pointed out that Pence may have offended many Americans by using taxpayer money for a "political stunt."
"The president and the vice president had come up with a way that they believe is the best way to communicate this stand," the NBC reporter remarked. "But it's obviously a divisive issue, with many people insisting these players deserve their right to free expression."
"Among the questions right now to be answered is, was this a political stunt as many people suggest?" Alexander added. "And the bottom line is, is the vice president as a government official allowed to use taxpayer money to fly into a place like Indiana for what many people view as a political stunt."