Minutes after Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) reclaimed the House speaker’s gavel on Thursday afternoon, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced that she would be holding an impromptu press briefing, giving reporters approximately five minutes to prepare. The press corps scrambled to fill the room, and about 10 minutes after making the announcement, Sanders entered and introduced President Trump, who stepped behind the podium for the first time since taking office. What ensued was not a press briefing, but a cheap stunt to promote a potential border wall. “You can call it a barrier, you can call it it whatever you want, but essentially we need protection in this country,” the president said after congratulating Pelosi.
Trump then introduced three border officials, each of whom was given an a short opportunity to explain why the president is right about border security. Trump then re-took the podium to reiterate that the United States cannot have border security without a wall. “You see what’s been put out on social media where thousands of people are rushing the border,” Trump said, referencing a racist promotional video he tweeted minutes earlier. “Having a drone fly overhead — I think nobody knows much more about this type of technology than I do,” he continued. “Having drones and all kinds of sensors are fine, but they’re not going to stop the problems that this country has.”
Trump repeats the same tired talking points to make a case for a wall. He then walks off without taking questions. And with that the briefing ends.
Bizarre, and pointless. pic.twitter.com/J6CcEJ529U
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 3, 2019
Trump closed by once again commending the border officials before leaving the room without taking any questions. (None of the other officials took questions, either.)
“Are you not taking any questions at all? None?” yelled one reporter.
“The point of the briefing room is to take questions,” said another.
Shortly after the stunt concluded, Trump threw a wall-themed nod to Game of Thrones on his Instagram account. On Wednesday, Trump held a Cabinet meeting with a poster of a Game of Thrones meme he tweeted prior to the midterms splayed on the table in front of him for nearly two hours. “The Wall Is Coming,” the text of the Instagram post read, Trump’s constipated face hovering over a graphic rendering of a wall.
God help us.