Pelosi Picture Just Latest In Trump’s Optics Snafus

President Donald Trump in camera lens (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
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October 17, 2019 8:13 a.m.
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President Donald Trump tweeted out a picture from his disastrous meeting with Democratic leadership Wednesday, intending to show “nervous Nancy” Pelosi losing control during their conversation.

The tweet immediately backfired, with scores of political observers asserting that the picture makes Pelosi look commanding and in control, not least because she’s the only clearly visible woman at the table.

Accordingly, Pelosi made the photo her Twitter account banner, where it will certainly join the ranks of the famed orange coat shot.

It’s not the first time in recent days that Trump seriously miscalculated his PR moves.

He was reportedly so pleased with his letter to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan — a missive so bizarre and blustering as to have compelled TPM to confirm its authenticity with the White House — that he encouraged Republicans to hand out copies in Congress.

In the letter, Trump implored Erdogan: “Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool! I will call you later.” It immediately spawned memes, derision and serious concern from those who noted the date on the letter and realized that Erdogan utterly ignored the warning from the U.S. President and launched his attack anyway.

Just a day earlier, Trump tried to set up a surprise reunion between the parents of a British teen killed in a car crash and the American woman, the wife of a diplomat, who killed him by driving on the wrong side of the road.

The parents, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, were only told that they were summoned to the White House to meet with a senior official. The senior official turned out to be Trump, who told them repeatedly that the woman who killed their son, Anne Sacoolas, was waiting in the next room and willing to meet.

The parents refused, saying that any expressed desire to meet with Sacoolas was meant to be on their terms, in a planned meeting to help them find some closure. Family spokesman Radd Sieger said on CNN Thursday that the parents felt “ambushed” by Trump’s antics.

And taking it back even further, it was Trump who ultimately decided to release a call memo of his conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, ignoring the warnings of allies like Vice President Mike Pence in his decision that the optics of withholding the document would be worse than the content of the memo itself.

The memo instantly poured gasoline on the House’s freshly stoked impeachment inquiry, and its release coincides with a significant shift in polling as voters of all stripes became more supportive of impeaching Trump and removing him from office.

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