The Battle Of Baggage Claim: Trump Claimed Revolutionary Armies ‘Took Over Airports’

WASHINGTON, D C , UNITED STATES - 2019/07/04: President Donald Trump speaking at the National Mall in Washington, DC during the Independence Day on July 4. (Photo by Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett

President Donald Trump ended a baffling line of his Fourth of July speech with the assertion that Revolutionary War armies “took over airports” — which would have been quite a shock to the citizenry of the late-18th century who had not yet invented them.

“Our army manned the amperts, ran the ramparts and took over the airports, it did everything it had to do,” Trump seemed to say. “And at Fort McHenry, under ‘the rocket’s red glare,’ it had nothing but victory. And when dawn came, their star-spangled banner waved defiant.”

In the most charitable explanation of the thoroughly confusing sentence, perhaps Trump was having trouble reading the teleprompter through the steady rain in Washington yesterday, or maybe his speechwriters had a few drinks before sending the final text of the speech.

Either way, we gathered TPM’s historians and mined their collective knowledge — fact check: as there were no planes, there were also no airports in 1775.

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