Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday celebrated the release of two Reuters journalists who were imprisoned in Myanmar — even as President Donald Trump denounces journalists as “the enemy of the people” in the United States.
Reacting to the news that reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were set free after spending over 500 days in jail for their reporting on the killing of ten Rohingya Muslim men and boys by security forces, Pence praised the reporters and their role in holding their government accountable.
“Great news!” Pence wrote. “Reuters journalists Wa Lone & Kyaw Soe Oo have been released from prison in Burma where they were jailed for doing their job reporting on atrocities committed against the Rohingya people. Freedom of religion & freedom of the press are essential to a strong democracy!”
President Trump has regularly demonized the U.S. media by calling them America’s “enemy,” and he also proposed a total ban on Muslims entering the United States during his run for the presidency.
Given this, Pence was quickly called out by followers on Twitter for being completely hypocritical in his praise of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Check out some of the reactions below.
Great news for those journalists. I'm happy for them and their families. I agree. Freedom of the press is essential to a strong democracy, so please stand behind those words in our country. Speak out when you see someone bashing journalists. What about Jamal Khashoggi?
— Chris HC (@chcjtbaseball) May 7, 2019
I’m confused, is the Press the enemy of the people or isn’t it? @realDonaldTrump
— Dave Shea (@davejshea) May 7, 2019
Still awaiting the VP demanding the release of #Khashoggi remains and holding the Saudi’s responsible.
Never going to happen.
Those atrocities fill Trump/Kushner pockets.
— IFONLYIFTHEN (@ifonlyifthen) May 7, 2019
But you’d like to jail them if they reported on atrocities committed against the American people by the Trump administration.
— The Socialist Party (@OfficialSPGB) May 7, 2019
So interesting since we have a president that screams the American press is the enemy of the people and would love to be able to lock them up.
— EJM (@MoulderE) May 7, 2019
Good thing they weren't in Saudi Arabia or North Korea, where your great leader loves to watch them murdered.
— smarish (@smarish) May 7, 2019
Really? Coming from a member of the Trump team, a team that stands behind a president who continually threatens and endangers a free US press. Wow. You continue to amaze.
— Susan Vogel (@susiemv) May 7, 2019
Freedom of religion behind your Muslim ban? Free Press is Enemy of the People according to your boss. 🤔🤔🤔
— EastieStrong (@eastiestrong) May 7, 2019
"Freedom of religion" but you tried to ban Muslims.
"Freedom of press" but your master calls them the "enemy of the people!"
I CALL BS!
— Parker the Politically Peculiar Penguin (@AntarcticBirdie) May 7, 2019