Trump’s embarrassing attempt to “shame” the media just backfired in a way only this incompetent administration could pull off.
On Twitter, Trump took a dig at reporters who had pointed out that his inauguration crowd was much smaller than Obama’s by announcing that he would be hanging up a photograph of his “yuge” crowd in the White House press hall. Presumably, Trump hoped the photograph would “prove” that his crowd was actually as big as he said it was. He painstakingly found a picture that’s angle was careful not to show all of the empty spaces where crowds would have gathered for a more popular president.
A photo delivered yesterday that will be displayed in the upper/lower press hall. Thank you Abbas! pic.twitter.com/Uzp0ivvRp0
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 24, 2017
But even this petty maneuver was undone by Trump’s incompetence. People quickly noticed that the date on the photograph was wrong. It wasn’t January 20th, but the next day. The day of the Women’s March – the biggest organized march in American history. He was glorifying his own opposition.
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) January 24, 2017
In the days since Trump’s inauguration, even Trump’s own advisers have observed in despair that the new president seems unable to get beyond his poor inauguration attendance. The perceived embarrassment has consumed Trump’s time and energy, making him prone to fits of crippling sadness and occasional fury.
Mr. Trump grew increasingly angry on Inauguration Day after reading a series of Twitter messages pointing out that the size of his inaugural crowd did not rival that of Mr. Obama’s in 2009. But he spent his Friday night in a whirlwind of celebration and affirmation. When he awoke on Saturday morning, after his first night in the Executive Mansion, the glow was gone, several people close to him said, and the new president was filled anew with a sense of injury.
He still hasn’t gotten over it. Staffers have privately confided in the press that all Trump seems capable of doing now is sitting in his office carefully devouring press about it with his black sharpie quickly circling passages that he doesn’t like. Like a child. Like a narcissistic child.
With a black Sharpie in hand, he marks up the Times or other printed stories. When he wants action or response, he scrawls the staffers’ names on that paper and either hands the clip to them in person, or has a staffer create a PDF of it — with handwritten commentary — and email it to them.
The scary thing, of course, is that Trump’s meltdown over his attendance numbers isn’t even a big deal. What happens when something really important doesn’t go his way? The level of sheer ego-tripping is already at maximum, a powder keg ready to go off at any moment.
Featured image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images