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Mall Fires Santa with 5 Decades of Experience for the Crime of Wearing a MAGA Hat


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[clip starts]

SKINNER: “No kids ever asked me to wear a Trump hat. First and foremost, I’ve got better common sense than that.”

[clip ends]

REPORTER: “Well, mall Santa in southern Georgia taking heat for this picture showing him wearing a Trump hat. That picture cost him his job. It’s a story we first told you about last week, and tonight, in our First Coast News exclusive, that Santa is explaining what happened.”

REPORTER: “Yeah, the story has really sparked a lot of controversy. On Your Side’s Robert Bradfield has the Santa’s side of the story tonight, asking him if he has any regrets.”

[clip starts]

BRADFIELD (voice-over): “This photo, Frank Skinner thought, would only end up on his Facebook page, taking it — as he describes — on a whim at closing time last week at the mall at Wade Cross Shopping Center. The Trump hat came out, he says, when no children were around.”

SKINNER: “Next thing I know — boom — all this controversy came about.”

BRADFIELD (voice-over): “Skinner, who is a Trump supporter, believes someone saw him on his Facebook page and sent it to mall management. He was told not come back.”

SKINNER: “I just felt like my constitutional rights were being violated.”

BRADFIELD (voice-over): “Skinner spent 48 years dressing up as Santa, working various jobs and venues. 14 years of that has been at the mall in, he says, he’s had no problems in the past.”

SKINNER: “When you’re in the Santa suit and around kids, that’s exactly what you dressed and that’s exactly how I’ve always treated everything.”

BRADFIELD (voice-over): “Skinner says it was not a political stunt and he was not trying to offend anyone. As for taking the picture…”

SKINNER: “Knowing what I know today and how the social media is, I probably wouldn’t do it again. In fact, I know I wouldn’t. But that — that’s not going to stop me from supporting what I think was right.”

[clip ends]

BRADFIELD: “Now Skinner says he is getting offers to make other appearances after last week’s incident. And since we first posted this story on our website and social media pages, many of you are weighing in. We have two comments for you tonight. Connie Williams Harris says, ‘Seriously? His personal Facebook page, after hours! Where is his freedom of speech? It’s a freaking hat, people!’ And Mary Elizabeth Schutte says, ‘Freedom of speech means he can’t get arrested for it. He can still lose in the court of public opinion.’ And you can also add your opinion by searching for this story on our Facebook page tonight. I did also reach out to mall’s management company looking for comment, but have not heard back. Skinner says he is not pursuing any legal options. Live in the newsroom, Robert Bradfield, First Coast News is on your set.”

Rusty Weiss

Rusty Weiss is a freelance journalist focusing on the conservative movement and its political agenda. He has been writing conservatively charged articles for several years in the upstate New York area, and his writings have appeared in the Daily Caller, American Thinker,, Big Government, the Times Union, and the Troy Record. He is also Editor of one of the top conservative blogs of 2012, the Mental Recession.

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