Update: Last night, Twitter went nuts over some comments CNN's Jeffrey Lord made about NAFTA and his dry cleaner. There was some concern the conservative commentator was connecting NAFTA to women's menstruation. While he was guilty of telling a very awkward story, Lord definitely wasn't talking about periods. His story was about his dry cleaner's complaints about poor quality garments that are ruined when cleaned. Far less interesting and sinister.
This story originally ran on Monday, January 23. Let's get this straight. We know President Trump wants to re-negotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and undo President Obama's executive orders regarding immigrant protection. We also know that he has moved to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. All of this is ostensibly in support of his "America First" model. Little did we know, however, that one of the key failures of NAFTA is apparently women who come into this country and "bleed" because they "don't have the same skills." What? Those quotes came from CNN's Jeffrey Lord as he discussed trade agreements with Anderson Cooper and former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich this evening. “It’s not just isolationism,” Reich said of President Trump's approach to trade (and, seemingly, his approach to all of politics). “It’s Donald Trump’s assumption that the world is basically a zero sum game, in which we win only to the extent that someone else loses." He suggested that the best way to support American workers is actually to back the unions and raise the minimum wage. Lord disagreed. He countered with what he called "a local example" — that of his dry cleaner. This man, Lord explained, supports Trump and frequently complains about NAFTA. Why? Well: “Here is a guy who is being asked to clean ladies' garments," Lord began to explain (don't worry, we're not following the argument either). "And they bleed, which costs him money because he has to pay for the garment,” he continued (still not following). “The reason they bleed is because they don’t come into this country with the same standards, because of NAFTA." I know I'm repeating myself here, but what? Trade agreements are a bad idea because immigrant women supposedly don't have some mysterious skills that prevent them from menstruating just like, oh I dunno, all women everywhere?
Twitter, understandably, is having a field day with this one.
And just when we were about to break out our warpaint and head over to Lord's house, then came the alternate explanation — also courtesy of Twitter.
Poor choice of words indeed. Editor's note: The original version of this story had an incorrect transcript of the CNN interview. It has since been updated.