Donald Trump Posed For 'TIME' With A Bald Eagle And A 'Zoolander' Facial Expression, Because Of Course He Did
TIME magazine somehow convinced 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump to do the unthinkable when they photographed him in his office on the 25th floor of the Trump Tower in New York with a bald eagle. How they accomplished this feat, we will never know. But they did it, and the results are patronizingly hilarious. The end result is the magazine's cover story on Trump, titled "The Donald Has Landed, Deal With It." But, strangely enough, Trump doesn't look like his normal self in the photos. He looks kind of stiff and awkward standing next to a bird that is supposed to perfectly encompass the strength and endurance of 'Merican values. There are a number of funny things we can learn from Trump's TIME cover shoot.
In the interview, Trump did what he usually does: hated on the Clintons and his opponents, talked up his business prowess even more than he already has, and evaded questions about just how he would follow through with his plan of deporting millions of undocumented immigrants.
And it sounds like he did what he usually does with TIME photographer Martin Schoeller, too. Schoeller had photographed Trump for Fortune previously, and he said "every frame was the same." In the photos, Trump is standing or sitting awkwardly next to Uncle Sam, a 27-year-old bald eagle who was flown in from Texas, and you've got to wonder if that's some kind of symbolic foreshadowing. Here are four things we can learn about Trump from the photo shoot.
Trump Isn't Easy To Work With — Shocker
Maybe this isn't new information, but at least it's being officially confirmed. Schoeller told TIME that Trump is not easy to photograph, because he doesn't take direction well:
If you ask him to look up a little bit, he says no or he just doesn’t do it. He literally has one angle. If I ask him to smile, he puts on a big grin and then he goes back to his Zoolander ‘blue steel’ look. And the ‘blue steel’ stays for as ever long as it takes to get the photograph.
Trump Is Afraid Of Uncle Sam
Whether that's the bald eagle or the metaphor for America and all it's brutal, fried-food-fuel international power is for you to decide. But Schoeller said that Trump was hesitant with the bird, and it's clear from his body language in the photographs that Trump is unsure of what to do with his hands. In the photo where the bird is sitting on Trump's arm, Trump is trying to give a thumbs up, but he seems afraid to lift his hand high enough for the motion to be convincing. Come on Trump, Uncle Sam won't bite!
Trump's Office Is A Mess
For someone who prides himself on being on top of his game all the time, Trump's office is insanely cluttered. There are what look like football helmets covering the couch, every inch of window sill is covered with photos or objects, and his desk is littered with papers. The Oval Office couldn't look like that!
Trump Likes Attention
Maybe this was also already common knowledge, but it was again confirmed by the photographer. Schoeller said that he chose the bald eagle for the shoot because of Trump's campaign slogan "Make America Great Again." He said Trump liked the idea of using an eagle, so they went with it:
I thought he might be open to it considering he’s a man who loves attention. He likes controversy, and he likes to be in the spotlight.
The bald eagle's owner, master falconer and wildlife rehabilitator Jonathan Wood, said that it made sense to pair Trump with an animal like a bald eagle. Then, Wood said something which is sure to fuel Trump's ego for decades:
Donald Trump is an icon, and this bald eagle is an icon.
Images: TIME Magazine Video (4)