This week, Donald Trump joined a collection of scientists, engineers, and astronauts to sign an executive order renewing the National Space Council. It was not exactly a meeting of the minds.
Trump had a prepared speech but at several points veered wildly off script, leaving the people standing around him – including renowned former astronaut and national hero Buzz Aldrin – to squirm, grimace, and cringe at the sheer stupidity of what was coming out of his mouth. Even worse, on the very same day Trump was holding the photo op, the last three members of the White House science office (all holdovers from the Obama administration) left the job. Trump hasn’t bothered to staff the office with anyone else. Science is not exactly a priority of his.
The awkward affair was caught by television cameras meant to record the event and Aldrin’s pained expression quickly went viral.
Buzz Aldrin thinking he would much rather live on the Moon right now pic.twitter.com/wXVfCgt6cT
— Paul Szoldra (@PaulSzoldra) July 1, 2017
At the time, Trump was rambling about “space” – a concept he apparently did not fully understand.
“And security is going to be a very big factor with respect to space and space exploration. At some point in the future, we’re going to look back and say how did we do it without space?”
Those are words, sure, but what is he trying to say? Nobody in the room seemed to know.
Making matters worse, near the end of the signing, Aldrin cracked a joke that went so far over Trump’s head it could have landed on the moon. As Trump sat down to sign the order, Aldrin said “to infinity and beyond!” The reference to Toy Story’s resident space ranger was missed on Trump who came out with this incredible word salad about the concept of “infinity.”
“This is infinity here. It could be infinity. We don’t really don’t know. But it could be. It has to be something — but it could be infinity, right?”
Buzz Aldrin once decked a crackpot stalker who was harassing him by shouting that the moon landing had been faked. Now, he’s forced to stand next to a man with just as many crackpot ideas and call him “Mr. President.” His face says it all.
Featured image via Twitter