President Donald Trump wants you to know that he’s been cooped up in the White House for months — months! — hard at work as our commander in chief.
“I work from early in the morning until late at night, haven’t left the White House in many months (except to launch Hospital Ship Comfort) in order to take care of Trade Deals, Military Rebuilding etc.,” Trump tweeted Sunday, before complaining about a New York Times article that described him sourly watching television for hours at a time.
In reality, the President isn’t taking nearly enough credit for his packed travel schedule.
After a whirlwind trip to India, Trump held a rally on Feb. 28 in South Carolina, in which he said Democrats’ criticism of his handling of the coronavirus crisis was a “hoax.” On Monday, March 2, he spoke to an intimate crowd of thousands at Charlotte, North Carolina’s Bojangles’ Coliseum. On March 6 he surveyed tornado damage in Tennessee then visited the CDC in Atlanta.
Then he flew to his private club at Mar-a-Lago, where he dined with the president of Brazil and his entourage, many of whom later tested positive for COVID-19. Video from that night shows a bustling crowd at the seaside club. Then he golfed with Washington Nationals players. On March 19, Trump visited FEMA headquarters in D.C.
The President’s repeated insistence that’s he’s been on house arrest for months on end is blazing new trails for fact checkers: Not only were all of his trips around the country recorded on digital video, viewed by millions and archived for eternity — he was also fact-checked on this exact point just a week ago. That’s on video, too.
At a White House briefing on April 20, PBS NewsHour’s Yamiche Alcindor pointed out to the President that, for all his talk about taking the virus seriously in its early days, “you held rallies in February and in March.”
Trump’s mouth dropped open. He blinked once, twice, three times. He looked to the left. He threw his hands open then toward his chest.
“Oh, I don’t know about rallies!” he said, interrupting Alcindor. “I really don’t know about rallies. I know one thing, I haven’t left the White House in months except for a brief moment to give a wonderful ship, The Comfort–”
“You held a rally in March,” Alcindor insisted.
Trump threw his hands up again.
“I don’t know did I hold a rally? I’m sorry, I hold a rally! Did I hold a rally?”
He moved on, destined to return to the same talking point, one day.