Trump Once Railed Against Presidents Using Teleprompters — Now He’s Blaming One for His ‘Airports’ Gaffe

U.S. President Donald Trump talks to reporters as he departs for travel to New Jersey from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., July 5, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

President Donald Trump offered an explanation on Friday for his bizarre reference to Revolutionary War “airports” during a speech on the Fourth of July, pinning the blame squarely on an alleged faulty teleprompter.

“Yeah, the teleprompter went out,” Trump told reporters outside the White House, crediting it to the rainy conditions in D.C. ahead of his speech on Thursday.

“It went kaput,” Trump added. “And I could have said — so actually right in the middle of that sentence, it went out. And that’s not a good feeling!”

Trump added that the teleprompter was hard to read throughout due to ran on the screen. The modern teleprompters favored by presidents use a screen on the ground to reflect the text of the speech onto a plexiglass screen placed near the speaker’s line of sight.

Watch the video below:

Trump’s explanation seems plausible, but his decision to blame an awkward moment of his speech on the teleprompter strikes an interesting contrast with Trump’s past sharp criticisms of former President Barack Obama’s usage of the same technology.

“I’ve always said, if you run for president, you shouldn’t be allowed to use teleprompters,” Trump said in 2016, according to Politico. “Because you don’t even know if the guy is smart.”

“I say we should outlaw teleprompters,” he said in a 2015 campaign speech.

Trump was one of a number of Republicans who repeatedly lashed out at Obama for using teleprompters in his public speeches.

“Why does [Barack Obama] always have to rely on teleprompters?” Trump tweeted in 2012.

Trump offered similar tweets for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election cycle.

“Just can’t read speeches!” he wrote in a tweet, arguing that Clinton’s use of a teleprompter inhibited emotion in her remarks.

Though he is known for the off-the-cuff comments he tends to make at his rallies, Trump eventually came around to the teleprompter later in his presidential campaign when he was required to make speeches more heavy on policy. Now, they’re visible on stage for nearly every speech he makes.

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