White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders kicked off Thursday afternoon’s press briefing running down some of the daily news items from what was clearly (not) an otherwise slow news day, before announcing a “message from a special guest” and asking the pool to turn their attention to the video screens positioned behind her. From there, in a bizarre Wizard of Oz (or Max Headroom) sort of way, the floating head of Donald Trump then appeared to read a pre-recorded message, despite the fact that he was probably just down the hall in another wing of the building at the time of the briefing.
Trump’s head started off bragging once again about his “historic” tax cut, which he claims is already responsible for “major economic gains,” before moving on to boast about all of the companies who gave their employees holiday bonuses, are investing in 401ks, or boosting wages. Making the whole thing even more peculiar, Trump squinted heavily the entire time, as the cameras switched between angles where he was looking straight on at the camera and a side view.
Given that one of the insinuations allegedly found of Michael Wolff’s upcoming tell-all is that the president’s competency is being called into question by those surrounding him, it doesn’t seem as if he did himself any favors by issuing a pre-recorded statement — especially when one of Trump’s widespread criticisms is that he rarely makes media appearances himself.
Many were quick to point these, and other thoughts on Twitter:
Meanwhile, the bulk of questioning for Huckabee Sanders centered around Wolff’s book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, which she dismissed as “tabloid fiction.” Clearly.