If Hollywood producers reimagined a sequel to the old Owen Wilson/Vince Vaughn comedy Wedding Crashers, chances are that Donald Trump would not be the first person they would choose as their lead actor.
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Yet there Trump was this weekend at Mar-a-Lago, acting like he was auditioning for the role.
One of the hazards that any couple who decides to have their wedding reception at the Palm Beach Resort owned by the former president is the likelihood that their festivities may be interrupted by a surprise guest appearance by the facility’s proprietor.
That’s exactly what happened on Saturday night at Mar-a-Lago when a tuxedoed Trump commandeered the microphone to ostensibly offer his congratulations to the newly-wedded couple as their family and friends looked on.
Trump’s rambling speech, however, went far beyond a celebratory toast and ventured into topics more suited for one of the Republican ex-president’s rants during his calls to Fox News than to the nuptials of a couple of strangers paying good money for their big party.
“Y’know,” Trump began as he took the stage, “I just got, I turned off the news, I get all these flash reports, and they’re telling me about the border, they’re telling me about China, they’re telling me about Iran – how’re we doing with Iran, how do you like that?”
“Boy, they were ready to make a deal, they would have done anything, they would have done anything, and this guy goes and drops the sanctions and then he says, ‘We’d love to negotiate now,’ [and Iran replies], ‘We’re not dealing with the United States at all,’ Oh, well, they don’t want to deal with us.”
“And China, the same thing, they never treated us that way, right?”
Trump’s take on international geo-politics somehow doesn’t seem to be the best way for him to start his remarks at a wedding he just crashed, but with his stunning lack of self-awareness, he likely considered his very presence at the reception to be the most memorable gift the happy couple would receive on their special day.
The former president continued his marital oratory by bringing up a topic closer to home: immigration.
“You saw what happened a few days ago, was terrible, and uh, the border is not good, the border is the worst anybody’s ever seen it, and what you see now, multiply it times 10, Jim – he’s the only one I know who would handle the border tougher than me.”
Presumably, the guests at the reception had more of a clue as to who “Jim” may be and what his relationship to border security is exactly than the general public.
“What’s happening to the kids, they’re living in squalor, they are living like nobody has ever seen anybody, there’s never been anything like what’s, and you’re gonna have hundreds, and you have it now, they have the airplane photos, the shots, and they call ’em shots, and these things are showing thousands and thousands of people coming up from South America and it’s gonna be, it’s just uh, look, it’s a disaster.”
Almost as much of a disaster as the train wreck of an incomprehensible word salad that Trump spewed forth is his obfuscation of the fact that it was his own policies of family separation of refugees seeking asylum and locking of children in cages — while paying exorbitant fees to private detention center operators that far exceed the amount that the Biden administration has been criticized for paying for hotel rooms for housing detainees — that is the true source of outrage.
“It’s a humanitarian disaster from their standpoint,” the wedding’s surprise guest continued, “and it’s gonna destroy the country, and frankly, the country can’t afford it because you’re talking about massive, just incredibly massive amounts. Our school systems, our hospital systems, everything.
“So it’s a rough thing, and I just say, ‘Do you miss me yet?’”
At this point, the guests were likely coughing into their napkins while thinking: “How can we miss him when he won’t go away?”
Trump still wasn’t done with his diatribe, so inappropriate for the festivities. Having covered foreign relations and immigration, he moved onto another one of his greatest hits — how the 2020 election was stolen from him.
“We did get 75 million votes,” Trump said in a rounding up of the 74.3 million ballots actually cast for him, still far less than the 81.3 million votes for Joe Biden.
“Nobody’s ever gotten that,” he said. “They said, ‘Get 66m votes, sir” – refering to Hillary Clinton’s total when she beat him in the popular vote in 2016 – “and the election’s over.’ We got 75m and they said … but you know, you saw what happened, 10.30 in the evening, all of a sudden I said, ‘That’s a strange thing, why are they closing up certain places, right?’
As the champagne grew increasingly flatter, the vociferous former president finally arrived at the ostensible reason for his remarks to begin with.
“Now, a lot of things happening right now. I just wanted to say, it’s an honor to be here, it’s an honor to have you at Mar-a-Lago, you are a great and beautiful couple … have fun.”
You can watch Donald Trump’s wedding-crashing speech, in footage originally obtained by TMZ, in the video below.
Original reporting by Martin Pengelly at The Guardian.
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