Donald Trump apparently cannot give up on his past in the entertainment industry, and demonstrated as much during the Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual gathering of conservative politicians in Washington, D.C., as he went off script while delivering a two-hour speech, rife with sarcasm and criticism.
MAGA Intro: Hugging American Flag
POTUS walked onstage to the tune of “God Bless the USA” and took a (bizarre) moment to cuddle with the American flag.
On Fake News, Russia and Clinton’s Emails
Trump couldn’t resist throwing a jab targeting his two bêtes noires – fake news and Hillary Clinton – and made a reference to a July 2016 press conference in which he sarcastically “asked” Russia to find his Democratic rival’s deleted emails.
“I’ve learned because with the fake news, if you tell a joke, if you’re sarcastic, if you’re having fun with the audience, if you say something like ‘Russia, please if you can, get us Hillary Clinton’s emails, please, Russia, please, please, please get us the emails”, Trump said.
Defending National Emergency
POTUS defended the national emergency he declared last month, stressing that the country faced a security crisis at the southern border with Mexico.
“A lot of people talk about precedent. Precedent. That if we do this, the Democrats will use national emergency powers for something that we don’t want. They’re going to do that anyway, folks. The best way to stop that is to make sure I win the election. I’m very concerned with having murderers and drug traffickers and drugs and drug cartels pouring into our country”.
Trump during his unhinged CPAC speech: "Mothers who love their daughters give them massive amounts of birth control pills, because they know their daughters are gonna be raped on the way up to our southern border… True story, told to me by the border patrol." pic.twitter.com/HPYz8zQge7— Richard W. (@IceManNYR) 2 марта 2019 г.
The remarks were made after the House of Representatives passed a bill to overturn the emergency declaration, which the Senate will be forced to vote on soon.
On Green New Deal: When Wind Stops Blowing, That’s the End of Your Electric
President Trump, who is known for scepticism towards renewable energy, turned to sarcasm while blasting the Green New Deal, promoted by Democratic members of Congress:
“I think the new green deal, or whatever the hell they call it. The Green New Deal, right? I encourage it. I think it’s really something that they should promote. No planes. No energy. When the wind stops blowing, that is the end of your electric. Let’s hurry up. ‘Darling, darling, is the wind blowing today? I would like to watch television, darling’”, Trump playfully said as the crowd erupted in cheers and laughter.
Trump RIPS into the Green New Deal:— Benny (@bennyjohnson) 2 марта 2019 г.
"No planes. No energy. When the wind stops blowing, that is the end of your electric. 'Let’s hurry up. Darling, is the wind blowing today? I would like to watch television, darling."
The crowd loses it.
"It’s true," Trump says. pic.twitter.com/Dqw8mvImLi
He went on to say that the Green New Deal is “the craziest plan” that would “remove every gas-powered car from American roads”, “end air travel”, and “force the destruction or renovation of virtually every existing structure in the United States”.
“And yet I see senators that are there for 20 years, white hair. See, I don’t have white hair. I don’t have white hair. I see these white hairs, longtime senators, standing behind this young woman, and she’s ranting and raving like a lunatic, and these senators: ‘Yes, I agree with this. Yes I agree’”.
POTUS then took a moment to slam Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) as a “crazy female senator” over her comments about men and support for the Green New Deal.
“The crazy female senator from the state of Ohio”, he said, before correcting to Hawaii. “She’s like a crazy person. What she said about men is so bad”.
Back in September Hirono said that men should “shut up and step up” in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh:
“Guess who is perpetrating all of these kinds of actions? It’s the men in this country. I just want to say to the men in this country: Just shut up and step up. Do the right thing, for a change”.
She is also campaigning for the Green New Deal in the Senate despite early opposition after a draft of the plan suggested building high-speed rail in order to render air travel obsolete.
Blasting Mueller Probe
Trump, who has repeatedly denied any collusion with Russia, lashed out at Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who has been looking into the allegations, and “13 Angry Democrats” on the probe.
“Robert Mueller put 13 of the angriest Democrats in the history of our country on the commission. How do you do that? These are angry, angry people. You take a look at them. One of them was involved with the Hillary Clinton Foundation, running it. Another one has perhaps the worst reputation of any human being I’ve ever seen. All killers”.
Doing a Sessions Impression
During his two-hour speech, Trump also poked fun at former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, imitating the Alabamians’ Southern accent while upbraiding him for the decision to recuse himself from the investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia:
“And as you know, the attorney general says, ‘I'm going to recuse myself'”, Trump said, mimicking a Southern accent. “And I said, ‘Why the hell didn't he tell me that before I put him in?’ How do you recuse yourself?”
Trump does an impression of Jeff Sessions: "I'm gonna recuse myself" pic.twitter.com/vJMKsovTsp— Josh Billinson (@jbillinson) 2 марта 2019 г.
On Death of US Student Detained in North Korea
POTUS addressed the controversy over his remarks earlier this week when he said that he took North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at his word that he was unaware of what happened with US student Otto Warmbier in a DPRK jail.
“We got our great, great people, and that includes our beautiful, beautiful Otto. Otto Warmbier, whose parents I’ve gotten to know, who’s incredible. And I’m in such a horrible position, because in one way I have to negotiate, in the other way, I love Mr. and Mrs. Warmbier, and I love Otto. And it’s a very, very delicate balance. He was a special young man that to see what happened, so bad, it was so bad”.
Warmbier was detained in North Korea and sentenced to 15 years of hard labour for purportedly stealing a poster while visiting the country in 2016. A year later, he was returned to the United States with brain damage and died shortly after.
Earlier this week, Trump said that Kim had told him that he was unaware of Warmbier’s condition in jail, and added that he took him at his word. After facing much backlash, he backtracked, saying he was being “misinterpreted” and “of course” blamed Pyongyang for the young man’s death.
Social Media Blows Up
Given that Trump broke his own record, delivering the longest speech of his presidency to date, social media users have been wondering whether transcribers managed to keep up with him:
Trump’s CPAC speech is longer than his first two marriages— Roland Scahill (@rolandscahill) 2 марта 2019 г.
Actual footage of the transcribers at work. pic.twitter.com/PBsbFDgDPL— Roger Fischer (@rfischeresq) 3 марта 2019 г.
I’m pretty sure you could just combine his last five speeches, throw them in a blender and you’ve got it.— Rap Bastardz 🌊 (@RapBastardz) 3 марта 2019 г.
One netizen made a reference to Bird Box, a Netflix post-apocalyptic thriller in which the main characters have to wear blindfolds to avoid unknown supernatural entities that force people who see them to commit suicide.
Trump’s line, linking wind and television, has apparently become an instant hit on Twitter, with many pointing out that his seemingly unrehearsed humour was hilarious:
@AusAntiLeft— The Issue (@theissueweb) 3 марта 2019 г.
My favourite line at CPAC. Trump talking about the Dems green deal – the future — no fossil fuel, just wind and solar. He then looks stage left and calls out… “Darling! Is it windy out there? I want to watch television today.”@theissueweb
MY STOMACH IS HURTING RIGHT NOW I CANT STOP LAUGHING— YukonMan (@tmoon48) 2 марта 2019 г.
Is the wind blowing today? I'd like to watch television 😂😂😂😂😂— Freedom (@brothafree) 2 марта 2019 г.
At the same time, many were quick to scold him for embracing the American flag, with users accusing him of “groping” it and suggesting it file lawsuit against him:
We all agree the Trump hugging the flag thing is creepy, right? Because that shit is just weird. And people cheering it are even creepier.— The Rude Pundit (@rudepundit) 2 марта 2019 г.
Now he is even groping the flag. No one is safe— JPrada (@pradacacolombia) 2 марта 2019 г.
grab them by their flag.— 𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐨𝐠𝐞𝐞𝐤 (@cartogeek) 2 марта 2019 г.