All The Places Trump Shouldn't Have Bragged About His Election Win (But Did Anyway)
At this point, everyone has heard — Donald Trump won the Electoral College in a landslide, historic victory. He wasn't supposed to crack 220, 221 votes. No way to 270. And then he got 306. Or 304. That's the information he's been given. And we have too, because the places Trump shouldn't have bragged about his election win but went ahead and did anyway are now legion, with each one more disturbing than the one that came before it.
Whether it's press conferences with foreign leaders, meetings with various groups of constituents or leaders, speeches to the CIA, Trump seems to think that any time is a good time to rattle off false information about how bigly he won the electoral vote. The fact that his win wasn't even that big doesn't seem to matter to him, nor does the fact that he has lied multiple times about the size of his victory in comparison to previous victories. "I was given that information. I don’t know. I was just given it," the president said, when pressed on the subject.
It's not that anyone wants this to be a theme that keeps coming up in the news, but Trump himself is making it one. So, it's high time for a roundup of all the inappropriate places that Trump has bragged about the size of his election win.
At The GOP Retreat
As far as inappropriate brags go, this one is almost appropriate. However, Trump opening his address at the GOP annual retreat with a brag about the size of his election win is some pretty solid evidence of an oft-repeated concept: Trump doesn't care about the party, the policies, or even the country that he claims to be working for. He only cares about himself.
At His First Meeting With Congressional Leaders
At his first official meeting with congressional leaders of both parties, Trump left the electoral victory alone and instead went with the popular vote. Again, instead of turning to policy, Trump repeated one of his favorite unfounded claims — that he lost the popular vote because millions of undocumented immigrants voted illegally. I'm tempted to say there's a time and a place for everything, but there's really no time and no place for damaging lies — and they're especially out of place when there are more important matters at hand.
On A Phone Call With The Australian Prime Minister
Before hanging up on the Australian Prime Minister 35 minutes before the call was supposed to end, Trump did take the opportunity to brag about his electoral victory. The Washington Post reports that according to an unnamed White House official, the call was particularly "hostile and charged" because of a previous deal that President Obama had made to accept some refugees from Australia — great time to sneak in a boast, right?
In A Meeting With Sheriffs
Trump couldn't even pass up the opportunity to brag about a victory that wasn't his. When talking to sheriffs in Minnesota, Trump went off about how unexpected his win was, and how he would have won Minnesota if he had made one more trip there. Nothing, apparently, is water under the bridge.
In A Press Conference With The Japanese Prime Minister
Trump's press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe didn't feature the same amount of lying on this subject that some of his other appearances have, but he couldn't pass up on the chance to boast about the fact that he had been elected. Really, Donald, do you think there's anyone who still needs reminding of that?
At The African American History Month Listening Session
At A Press Conference With The Israeli Prime Minister
This was the infamous case of Trump answering a question about anti-Semitism by repeating the number of electoral votes that he thought he received (he said 306, whereas he actually got 304). And no, reading the transcript will not give you a better idea of where that seeming non-sequitur came from. It is still a non-sequitur, and one that can hardly have come at a less appropriate time.
At The African American History Museum
Still waiting for your opportunity to go to the new Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture? Well Trump's not, and he already used his trip there to brag about the states where he "won by double, double, double digits." Was it relevant? Again, no. Did he have any reason to bring that up? Also no.
At A Joint Press Conference With The Canadian Prime Minister
Unsurprisingly, Trump also brought up his "very, very large electoral college vote" total at his press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Perhaps the president was feeling a bit insecure when faced with a politician who is basically everything that Trump has ever wanted to be — well-loved, highly respected, and extremely attractive — or it could just be his pattern. Either way, it definitely happened.
At The CIA Memorial Wall
Many people have actually lost their lives while serving the country in the CIA, and when Trump went to give a speech at the memorial honoring them, he hit one of his low points. He somehow avoided mentioning the number of electoral votes that he supposedly received, possibly because he was still obsessing over the size of his inauguration crowd at that point. He did, however, brag that "probably almost everybody in this room voted for [him]" — a strange thing to brag about, given that the CIA community was invited to the event on a voluntary basis and it was therefore a self-selected crowd.
He used that same event to say that he was "like, a smart person," and surprisingly enough, there is no evidence to suggest that he was impersonating a teenager while saying that. If it's true, though, he has yet to prove it — and the above list is proof that social skills and the ability to read a situation are also abilities that he is sorely lacking. This list is not exhaustive, and it's sure to grow longer — especially since it's looking like the election win might end up being one of his only political victories.