Today is the first day of Black History month, and President Donald Trump decided to honor the occasion by hosting a “listening session” at the White House. But his remarks at the start of the session took a bizarre turn, as he barely mentioned Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Frederick Douglass before returning to one of his favorite subjects—how unfairly he’s been treated by the media.
“Last month, we celebrated the life of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., whose incredible example is unique in American history,” Trump said during the speech. “You read all about Dr. Martin Luther King a week ago when somebody said I took the statue out of my office, and it turned out that that was fake news. It was fake news.”
Trump was referring to a news story by TIME magazine reporting that Trump had replaced the bust of King in the Oval Office with another statue. The journalist who wrote the story quickly apologized and corrected what he wrote, but Trump was clearly hurt by the incident, as he continued talking about it for several more sentences.
“The statue is cherished. It's one of the favorite things in the—and we have some good ones,” he said. “We have Lincoln and we have Jefferson and we have Dr. Martin Luther King, and we have—but they said the statue, the bust of Dr. Martin Luther King was taken out of the office. And it was never even touched. So I think it was a disgrace, but that's the way the press is. Very unfortunate.”
Trump went on to mention the National Museum of African American History and Culture, saying, “I am very proud now that we have a museum on the National Mall where people can learn about Reverend King, so many other things. Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who's done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I notice—Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, and millions more black Americans who made America what it is today. Big impact.”
This strange statement, which referred to Douglass (a famous abolitionist) in incredibly vague terms, prompted a quick response on Twitter.
you could show trump a photo of tyga, tell him it's frederick douglass and he wouldn't flinch pic.twitter.com/htdojSlzE3
— deaux (@dstfelix) February 1, 2017
I'd bet $40 Trump thinks Frederick Douglass invented peanut butter
— #1 Rachel (@rachel) February 1, 2017
But seriously, Trump thinks Frederick Douglass was like the first black mailman or something https://t.co/hzPeJUDKL3
— Mychal Denzel Smith (@mychalsmith) February 1, 2017
Trump, who was surrounded by supporters such as Ben Carson and Omarosa Manigault, also talked how Fox News has treated him well, and mentioned that he would work “very hard on the inner city” and make communities safer through law enforcement.
Great to know our president can make literally anything about himself, even Black History Month!