Outside of Twitter, public speaking events with little to no engagement or input from reporters are President Donald Trump’s favorite ways to control the media cycle. Or at least try.
Every time he’s in front of a microphone is a chance to advance the narrative that he’s presiding over the greatest presidency in the history of the republic, while also repel the reality of chaos and looming catastrophe that grips this White House daily.
In his mind, anyway, he’s succeeding. Any time he can talk about something – anything – other than Russia, Robert Mueller, resignations, or porn star mistresses, he thinks he’s shaping reality.
Sometimes, however, those appearances and unscripted remarks can and do go off the rails. And lately, they seem to do so more often than not.
The president held a dog-and-pony show open mic event at the White House today to formally enact his controversial new tariffs on aluminum and steel imports that are almost certain to serve as the start of a potentially disastrous trade war.
Economists and international trade experts oppose the tariffs, as do the departments of state and defense, who fear the instability a protracted trade war could cause. Even his own party has opposed them. Gary Cohn, his chief economic advisor, resigned in protest over the move.
But Trump pressed ahead, and at today’s event, he surrounded himself with steel and aluminum workers, for whom he claims to be helping with these tariffs.
All he had to do was sign the tariffs and say a few things about them, but even that proved to be too much of a challenge.
While trying to praise one of the steel workers, he stuck his foot in mouth and then proceeded to ram it down his throat.
You can watch the embarrassing exchange below:
Trump: Your father, Herman, is looking down. He's very proud of you right now.
Steelworker: Oh, he's still alive. pic.twitter.com/GVfw99iICl
— David Mack (@davidmackau) March 8, 2018