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Pence left after several 49ers protested the National Anthem Sunday afternoon in Indianapolis

Trump campaign sent fundraising email touting Pence's actions

Washington CNN  — 

President Donald Trump sent an email Monday praising Vice President Mike Pence for walking out of an NFL football game – and seeking donations in the wake of the National Anthem controversy.

“Yesterday members of the San Francisco 49ers took a knee during our National Anthem,” a fundraising email sent out on Monday reads. “Their stunt showed the world that they don’t believe our flag is worth standing for. But your Vice President REFUSED to dignify their disrespect for our anthem, our flag, and the many brave soldiers who have died for their freedoms.”

In the email, which had the subject line, “VP under fire for standing for” the US flag, Trump said he was “so proud of the vice president” for his early departure from a football game Sunday after some players knelt during the National Anthem.

“I left today’s Colts game because President Trump and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag or our National Anthem,” Pence said in a statement posted on Twitter.

While Trump characterized Pence as being under fire for standing for the anthem, in reality, Pence was criticized for the price tag of the trip to Indianapolis which amounted to little more than a photo-op.

Now the Trump team is offering to send supporters an “I STAND FOR THE FLAG” sticker in exchange for contributions of at least $5 to the “Trump Make America Great Again Committee.”

Trump said in a tweet Sunday he had asked Pence to leave the stadium if players knelt.

The President’s attacks against the NFL picked up steam after he slammed players who kneel in peaceful protest while campaigning for Luther Strange in Alabama. Following his comments, more players and teams chose to kneel during the anthem.

Colin Kaepernick, formerly of the San Francisco 49ers, started the anthem protests in opposition to police brutality, particularly toward

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media in August 2016.