AP

Vice President Mike Pence‚Äôs NFL publicity stunt might have cost taxpayers upwards of $200,000, but it was free marketing for the Trump campaign. So, true to form, less than a day after Pence advertised his outrage over NFL protests and left the 49ers‚ÄĒColts game, the campaign seized his hollow show of ‚Äúpatriotism‚ÄĚ as a fundraising opportunity.

CNN‚Äôs Jake Tapper posted a screenshot of the campaign email soliciting donations on Monday afternoon. ‚ÄúYesterday members of the San Francisco 49ers took a knee during our National Anthem. Their stunt showed the world that they don‚Äôt believe our flag is worth standing for,‚ÄĚ the email read.

‚ÄúBut your Vice President REFUSED to dignify their disrespect for our anthem, our flag, and the many brave soldiers who have died for their freedoms,‚ÄĚ continued the email. ‚ÄúBut immediately after the Vice President‚Äôs honorable display of leadership and patriotism, the Fake News Media relentless ATTACKED him.‚ÄĚ

So, let‚Äôs recap. Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem more than a year ago to protest institutional racism, police brutality, racial injustice, and inequality. Fast forward a year, Kaepernick is out of a job because of his protest, and despite this fact, is still targeted by President Trump. Then Trump took on the whole league by labeling any player who knelt as a ‚Äúson of a bitch.‚Ä̬†¬†

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Now, Trump has exploited both Pence‚Äôs staged ‚Äúprotest‚ÄĚ and the NFL players protest of systematic racism to fill his campaign coffers. Seems about right.