From staged photo-ops to ranting about straws, here are 8 absurd things Trump has done this week

Sanjana Varghese
Friday 04 September 2020 14:15
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(Getty Images)

Trump’s kicked off his campaign rally tour this week – which means a lot of opportunities for him to stick his foot in his mouth and insult a lot of people along the way.

That’s exactly what he did, from visiting Kenosha, Minnesota and insulting local business owners, to saying bizarre things about plastic straws and Wendy’s.

It was hard to pick but here are seven of the weirdest and strangest things that Trump has said and done this week.

1. He suggested that people should try to vote twice

Trump has been obsessed with mail-in voting and voter fraud, despite the fact that it doesn’t happen very often.

In North Carolina, he bizarrely told people to vote once by mail, and to also go and vote in person too. He said:

Well, they'll go out and they'll go vote, and they're going to have to go and check their vote by going to the poll and voting that way, because if it tabulates, then they won't be able to do that.

So, let them send it in, and let them go vote, and if the system is as good as they say it is, then obviously they won't be able to vote. If it isn't tabulated, they won't be able to vote. So that's the way it is. And that's what they should do.

Whatever that means to him, it seems like he was telling people to vote twice, even saying to send in their ballots “solicited or unsolicited.”

He repeated these comments in Pennsylvania, where he said that supporters should “follow” their ballots if they’re not tabulated.

2. He claimed that plane loads of rioters were being flown in to sow unrest

In an interview with Laura Ingraham of Fox News, Trump claimed that he knew of people who had been on planes with “thugs wearing dark uniforms, black uniforms with gear and this and that” – which even prompted Ingraham to ask, understandably: “What?”

Trump elaborated by saying:

I’ll tell you sometime. But it’s under investigation right now. But they came from a certain city, and this person was coming to the Republican National Convention, and there were like seven people on the plane like this person, and then a lot of people were on the plane to do big damage … The money is coming from some very stupid, rich people.

He seems to be referring to the theory of ‘outside agitators’ which claims that people are being bussed and flown in from all over the US to cause unrest in cities that have recently had massive protests over police brutality and racial injustice. But this theory isn’t substantiated, and no one else has reported it to be true.

Then he doubled down when speaking to reporters, and said:

A person was on a plane, said there were about six people like that person, more or less, and what happened is the entire plane filled up with the looters, the anarchists, the rioters, people that obviously were looking for trouble …This was a firsthand account of a plane going from Washington to wherever.

Right then.

3. He staged a 'fake' photo-op with a business owner in Kenosha

A camera shop in Kenosha was burned down during protests earlier this week – Trump ignored pleas from the governor to stay away, and visited several parts of the town.

The owner of the shop, Tom Gram, refused to take part in a photo-op so Trump’s team simply got the previous owner and implied that he was the current owner and stand in his place.

Trump referred to John Rode III as the current owner.

4. He defended the teenager who is accused of killed two people

Kyle Rittenhouse has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide after allegedly firing a long gun at three Black Lives Matter protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, killing two and injuring another.

Trump refused to condemn him, saying that Rittenhouse “probably would have been killed” himself if he hadn’t shot his gun.

He said:

That was an interesting situation. You saw the same tape as I saw. He was trying to get away from them, I guess, looks like. And he fell and then they very violently attacked him. And it was something that we're looking at right now, and it's under investigation, but I guess he was in very big trouble. He probably would have been killed. It's under investigation.

According to a criminal complaint, Rittenhouse prowled the streets in Kenosha with an AR-15-style rifle on Tuesday before clashing with protesters outside a car dealership, where Joseph Rosenbaum was shot dead.

5. He compared police brutality to golfers who miss a 3-foot putt.

During his interview with Laura Ingraham, he defended police officers who carry out acts of brutality by saying that they are “under siege” and added:

They can do 10,000 great acts, which is what they do, and one bad apple or a choker — you know, a choker. They choke.

They choke just like in a golf tournament. They miss a 3-foot putt.

Even Ingraham quickly interrupted him to clarify that he wasn't actually comparing police brutality to a golfing tournament, yet the president pressed on.

6. He went off topic, claimed that he knew the owner of Wendy’s and ranted about plastic straws at a campaign rally

At a campaign rally in Pennsylvania, Trump said: “They want to ban straws. Has anybody ever tried those paper straws? They are not working too good. Right?"

He continued:

I said, I have had a couple meals at McDonald's, etc, over the years. Wendy's. A friend of mine owns Wendy's, I will give it a plug. Right? Burger King.

It’s not really clear what he was referring to or how it came up, but he seemed to feel strongly enough about it that he brought it up mid speech in Pennsylvania.

Even Fox News seems to be tiring of his shtick – after 40 minutes, Fox cut away from his live rally (and he went on for another 50 minutes).

7. He said that he was everyone’s favourite president – and denied that he had 'mini-strokes'

This one just kind of speaks for itself – but it’s worth pointing out that mini-strokes or not, the "favourite president" line didn't go down well.

8. He said Joe Biden is a 'low-energy' candidate with 'no schedule'

He seems to be giving Joe Biden a new nickname, which is Joe Hiden, and says that there are “high energy chess players” scattered all over the world.

He also claimed Biden doesn't have a schedule and is in his basement instead. Nope, us neither.

It's certainly some kind of energy... we're not convinced it's the one we want in office though.

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