Donald Trump on Twitter: “I have just learned that Barack Obama married a giraffe! What a bad (sick) guy. Sad.”
Washington Daily Chronicle:
(Dateline Washington, March 11, 2017)
The White House today refused to back down on the latest Twitter feed from President Trump which claimed, without any evidence, that former president Barack Obama married a giraffe. The unfounded claim, which was tweeted at three in the morning by Trump, drew immediate criticism from Congressional Democrats. One Democratic Party senator labeled the tweet “outrageous” while another called it “beyond belief, beyond outrageous.”
A spokesman for the former president said, “This tweet is false and ridiculous and, really, shouldn’t even be dignified with a response.”
At a White House briefing aides for President Trump deflected the criticism. “The Democrats are just jealous because they lost the election,” said press secretary Sean Spicer. Trump advisor and confidant Kellyanne Conway defended the president, saying, “If he tweeted it, it must be true.” When pressed by reporters who insisted the claim is not only unbelievably insulting but also was not factual and was made without any evidence to substantiate it Conway said, “He’s just using alternative facts. He is the president and he must have information that the rest of us don’t have.”
Then, without responding to any question from reporters, she added: “You know that he’s a Negro, right? Who knows what motivates those people.”
A collective audible gasp was heard in the room. That was followed by nearly a minute of silence as reporters shook their heads in apparent disbelief over what they had just heard.
When challenged persistently by reporters, both Conway and Spicer insisted Trump knew what he was doing when he tweeted the tweet claiming Obama had married a giraffe. “I’m not even sure it was a female giraffe,” said Conway. “Have you ever known Mr. Trump to tell a lie?” she asked rhetorically.
“Yes,” was the answer shouted by a chorus of reporters in the crowded briefing room. “Well, you’re all part of the pack of the dishonest media,” replied Spicer. “You always distort what the president says – and you all wanna take him literally.” A reporter shouted from the back of the room that what the president of the United States says, no matter who he or she is, is supposed to be taken literally and what the president says should be thoughtfully reasoned and accurate. “So, what’s your question?” replied Spicer.
“If the president says it, it’s a fact – even though it may be an alternative fact,” said Conway, seemingly snarling at the assemblage of reporters in the White House press briefing room. She was pressed to provide evidence.
She didn’t. But she speculated on what may have happened. “I have heard – but I can’t say from whom – that Obama actually proposed to the giraffe via Skype from the Rose Garden on his last day in office.” Referring to what she said were “anonymous sources,” Conway told reporters: “I heard that he gave her a ring he bought at Toys R Us and that they had a honeymoon in Hawaii – but that’s just what I heard.”
A reporter told Conway the entire matter has skyrocketed to an atmospheric level of incredulity never before encountered in presidential politics. She told Conway, “This is something from the Bizarro World – how do you expect us, or the American public, to believe any of this surreal, outrageous stuff?” Conway responded: “The American public will believe anything. Remember, they cheered for him at his campaign rallies. They voted for Donald Trump didn’t they? You’re all just kind of jealous.”
As reporters began asking if the president and his aides were somehow suffering from some kind of acute mental illness, the briefing was brought to an abrupt end. Spicer turned the lights off in the briefing room as he stormed out of the room, leaving reporters in the dark.
Copyright 2017 by Luís R. Torres. Luís Torres is a freelance writer in Los Angeles and the author of the book “Doña Julia’s Children: The Life and Legacy of Educational Reformer Vahac Mardirosian