For those seeking a little humor in our bleak political climate, an incident from President Trump's Tuesday press conference must have been a welcome break. The room unexpectedly went dark in the middle of the president's remarks, after which Twitter started swapping jokes about why the lights went out on Trump.
The president used the address to walk back remarks he'd made during a joint press conference with Russia's President Putin on Monday in which he suggested that he didn't "see any reason why it would be" Russia that attempted to interfere with the 2016 U.S. election. After suggesting that the country could be innocent, he argued on Tuesday that he'd meant to use a double negative: "I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russia."
"Let me begin by saying that the full faith and support for America's intelligence agencies — I have a full faith in our intelligence agencies —" Trump began on Tuesday, when suddenly the White House Cabinet Room went black.
"Woops, they just turned off the lights. That must be the intelligence agencies," he quipped. The moment only lasted about five seconds, but it briefly threw off the room's occupants. "You guys OK?" Trump asked. "That was strange."
Incidents like these are, of course, Twitter gold. Social media erupted with laughter — and some darkness of their own — on Tuesday.
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Many viewers argued that Trump seemed like a hostage unwillingly reading a statement when he walked back his remarks on Russian election meddling on Tuesday. Axelrod is referencing Jeremiah Denton, a Vietnam War POW who famously communicated the word "TORTURE" in a video interview during his imprisonment by blinking in Morse code.
ABC News reports that it was, in fact, John Kelly who turned out the lights in the White House Cabinet Room (though presumably he didn't do so intentionally). We all accidentally bump into light switches sometimes — but it rarely provides such perfect fodder for comedy.