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Donald Trump spoke at West Point’s commencement on Saturday. After the speech, he left the stage by walking down a ramp.
You’d think this would be a pretty straightforward exit, but it was not: Trump scooted down the ramp with noticeable caution, then spent the lead-up to his own birthday tweeting lies about it to defend himself. You hate to see it.
In the video, Trump does seem to struggle with his descent. He steps gingerly and looks straight down, while West Point superintendent Darryl A. Williams seems to have no trouble at all.
It’s precisely the kind of clip that elicits lots of mockery on Twitter, and it did — especially when the “there’s always a tweet” crowd dug up a 2014 tweet in which Trump calls Obama’s stair-walking style “inelegant and unpresidential.” (For what it’s worth, which is almost nothing, President Obama descended the now-infamous West Point ramp with ease, also in 2014.)
Who knew the psychological thriller of 2020 would be Trump vs Ramp
— Sarah Cooper (@sarahcpr) June 14, 2020
In typical fashion, Trump didn’t take the jokes well. Instead, he tweeted a largely nonsensical defense of his walk, calling the ramp “long & steep” (it was not) and “very slippery.” (The weather was dry.) He also claimed that he ran the last 10 feet of the ramp, which even the most brain worm-addled viewer can see is not the case.
The ramp that I descended after my West Point Commencement speech was very long & steep, had no handrail and, most importantly, was very slippery. The last thing I was going to do is “fall” for the Fake News to have fun with. Final ten feet I ran down to level ground. Momentum!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 14, 2020
Of course, the worst thing about all this is that Trump appears to find debating his weird little trot more important than acknowledging the ongoing pandemic and widespread racial justice protests still happening across the country. But it’s not really surprising — Trump has a storied history of taking offense when his health, strength, or “masculinity” is challenged, and this appears to be just another instance.
Anyway, congrats to the West Point grads.