Welcome to POTUS Said What?!, a weekly roundup of Trump’s most asinine and ineloquent sound bytes and our effort to understand WTF he’s even talking about.
This week, we tackle the Gold Star family controversy, Trump’s ongoing temper tantrum about Puerto Rico, and his fictional bromance with Mitch McConnell that isn’t fooling anyone for a second.
WTF? People have often asked if there’s a rock bottom for Donald Trump, and the answer is, apparently not. This week, Democratic representative Frederica Wilson alleged that while the president was on a call with a pregnant military widow whose husband is lost in combat, he uttered the sentence, “He knew what he signed up for.” On the list of things you should say to a grieving Gold Star family, this is, uh, not on there.
In true Trump fashion, he lashed out and said the congresswoman was lying, which isn’t the smartest thing to do when tons of other people were allegedly on the call. The mother of slain soldier Sgt. La David T. Johnson confirmed Wilson’s account and added that Trump didn’t even know her son’s name. Soon after, other Gold Star families stepped forward to say that Trump either hadn’t contacted them or went back on promises he’d previously made.
To make matters worse for the president, Senator John McCain, who seems to be on his sunset tour, said that Trump is being very suspect about what was going down in Niger where Johnson was killed in the first place.
WTF? Ah, if there was ever a quote that encapsulated Donald Trump, this is it. Trump admitted that the Republican party is a damn mess before correcting himself and claiming that congressional Republicans were the real mess. He has done absolutely nothing wrong, apparently, which we’re not going to even warrant with further explanation.
And to prove that there really is a past Trump tweet for everything, here’s what the president posted on social media in 2012: “Obama's complaints about Republicans stopping his agenda are BS since he had full control for two years. He can never take responsibility.”
WTF? Trump’s assault on the people of Puerto Rico continues with him still complaining that the military has been there for too long — and it’s been less than a month. Four out of five American citizens in the territory are still without power and one-third are without drinking water, and apparently that’s too inconvenient for the president.
Also, to put things in perspective here: Rescue crews were in the New Orleans area for years after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and the city is still recovering over a decade later and receiving government funding due to the disaster. A month is nothing.
WTF? The press isn’t even wasting their time on this lie, and it’s making us want to bust out the “Sure, Jan” meme. Trump is now claiming that him and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are besties, despite all evidence on Twitter and through sources that the two can’t seem to stand each other.
And McConnell, who appears to never have had any spine to begin with, is going along with the charade. We have Amazon Prime if he wants us to ship him a new one, ASAP.
WTF? The New Yorker published a jaw-dropping behemoth of an article about Vice President Mike Pence, which included an anecdote where Trump said that Pence wants to hang all gay people. Despite multiple sources confirming the interaction, the White House is pretending it never happened, but we’re having trouble detecting any lies here considering that Mike Pence seems to really, really, really, really, really, really dislike the LGBTQ community.
Lily Herman is a contributing editor at Refinery29. Her work has been featured in Teen Vogue, Glamour, Allure, TIME, Newsweek, Fast Company, and Mashable. Follow her on Twitter. The views expressed are her own.