Trump’s claim that he wants to slow coronavirus testing is the latest in a pattern of supposed jokes and sarcasm

Afterward, Trump’s advisers rapidly jumped to his protection, dismissing his feedback as “tongue-in-cheek” and insisting the President had been joking. In an interview that aired Monday, given the likelihood to say himself whether or not he was being critical, Trump dissembled, telling CBN News his remark was “semi-tongue in cheek.”

Then on Tuesday morning, talking to reporters earlier than boarding Marine One, Trump utterly contradicted his advisers and flat-out denied his feedback have been a joke. “I don’t kid,” Trump mentioned. “By having more tests we have more l cases. We’ve done 25 million. Therefore we have more cases.”

The incident is a prime instance of a phenomenon that has been a hallmark of Trump’s presidency— time and once more, he will say one thing so false or outrageous, aides and allies will strive to clarify it away by claiming he was joking, solely to have Trump undercut their efforts by suggesting he was critical.

Other instances, Trump himself will play the “just joking” card after saying one thing controversial.

Since the begin of his presidential marketing campaign, Trump himself has claimed at least 50 times to have been joking or utilizing sarcasm, in accordance to Factba.se, a web site which tracks each phrase uttered or tweeted by Trump and different politicians.
Sometimes it is apparent when Trump is being sarcastic, like when he tweeted about Rep. Justin Amash contemplating a run for president. But usually it is not, and the ‘simply kidding’ rationalization comes after the truth.
Examples of the President’s so-called jokes and sarcasm run the gamut, from suggesting individuals inject themselves with disinfectant, to asking Russia to discover Hilary Clinton’s emails. But the punchline is nearly at all times the identical — Trump solely lets the public in on the joke later, normally after some embarrassing remark has garnered undesirable consideration.

He was kidding, of course. Wasn’t it apparent?

Although the ways and circumstances differ, Trump’s use of the “joking” and “sarcasm” playing cards is merely an extension of his behavior of making deceptive statements, sowing confusion and pushing false claims. And it places the public in a robust place of having to gauge the President’s intent behind sure statements.

Here are some current examples, starting with a nearer examination of Trump’s feedback about testing.

Coronavirus testing

Following the rally, an administration official told CNN the President was “obviously kidding” about ordering a coronavirus testing slowdown. Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany insisted Trump’s feedback have been “in jest.”
However, not solely has the President made similar claims earlier than suggesting extra testing is not crucial, he took to Twitter after the rally to clarify his belief that it solely appears like US has extra coronavirus instances than different international locations as a result of “our Coronavirus testing is so much greater (25 million tests) and so much more advanced.”
Two days after the rally, when asked to make clear his feedback about testing, the President did not say he had been joking and as an alternative doubled down on the concept that the US has such excessive numbers of coronavirus instances “because we do more testing than any other country by far,” which is in and of itself debatable given the lack of dependable, obtainable knowledge from another international locations.
In an interview, the President admitted he informed his administration fewer coronavirus checks would make the United States look higher, undercutting McEnany’s insistence his feedback have been “in jest.” On Tuesday morning, Trump did it once more, tweeting, “Cases are going up in the U.S. because we are testing far more than any other country, and ever expanding. With smaller testing we would show fewer cases!” While increased case numbers can typically be attributed to higher testing, experts say current surges are outpacing the enhance in checks.

Coronavirus and bleach

The President has a tendency to go off-script, which may typically come again to chunk him. That’s basically what occurred on April 23, when he suggested throughout a coronavirus briefing that “tremendous” quantities of ultra-violet mild or disinfectant may in some way be a potential treatment for the virus.
The feedback prompted producers to concern warnings cautioning individuals towards consuming bleach and different disinfectants. Poison management facilities throughout the nation reported a spike in calls.
When requested about the incident the subsequent day, Trump tried to right the document, claiming he had made the feedback sarcastically. His rationalization itself was stuffed with falsehoods and different makes an attempt to reframe his remarks. It was a basic instance of Trump saying one thing complicated and probably harmful off-the-cuff, then taking part in it off as sarcasm when given the likelihood to clarify what he was trying to say in the first place.

The border wall in Colorado

In October 2019, when Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and others expressed confusion at the President’s announcement that the US was apparently constructing a wall in Colorado as half of its border-protection efforts, Trump performed it off as if he’d been joking. He tweeted that he’d been kidding and that his feedback really referred to the individuals of Colorado benefiting from the border wall being constructed elsewhere.

Ukraine and China investigating the Bidens

Trump informed reporters in early October 2019 that he thought each Ukraine and China ought to examine former Vice President Joe Biden and his son. With these feedback coming barely a week after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced a formal impeachment inquiry into the President, outstanding Republican lawmakers jumped to his protection. House minority chief Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Rep. Jim Jordan and Sen. Marco Rubio all promoted the narrative that Trump’s feedback weren’t meant to be taken actually. But when the President was asked outright whether or not he’d been joking, he refused to affirm that narrative, responding as an alternative that any such investigation can be “up to China.”

A free Rolls-Royce

At a 2018 marketing campaign rally in Arizona, Trump joked about Democrats wanting to give undocumented immigrants a free Rolls-Royce. At a rally the subsequent day in Nevada, Trump matter-of-factly claimed Democrats need to give undocumented immigrants automobiles and drivers licenses. But when media retailers fact-checked Trump’s statements about Democrats, immigrants, and automobiles, he lambasted them in subsequent rallies for not having the ability to take a joke.

Rep. Gianforte

At a rally in October 2018, the President praised Montana Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte who had assaulted a reporter whereas campaigning the 12 months earlier than. Trump said “there’s nothing to be embarrassed about,” and added that “any guy who can do a body slam … he’s my guy.” The subsequent day, House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise defended the President’s feedback as “clearly a joke,” saying that Trump was simply “ribbing” Gianforte. However, hours later when Trump was requested whether or not he regretted his feedback about Gianforte, he said “not at all” and went on to name Gianforte “a great guy.”

China’s commerce practices

Trump’s refusal to settle for others’ interpretation of his intentions goes again to his first 12 months in workplace. In November 2017, the President praised China’s commerce practices, the very ways he had beforehand criticized as unfair. Speaking to enterprise leaders in Beijing, Trump mentioned “I don’t blame China” for taking benefit of the US, inserting the blame for the rising commerce deficit on previous US administrations as an alternative. Later, then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters the President’s feedback have been “tongue-in-cheek,” solely to be contradicted shortly after by a tweet from the President reiterating publicly the stance he’d voiced earlier that day.

“Russia, if you’re listening”

Most notably, the President has tried to rewrite historical past by claiming on multiple occasions since he was elected that he was joking when he made his notorious “Russia, if you’re listening” request throughout the 2016 presidential marketing campaign. CNN has fact-checked this different narrative several times before and the facts clearly show that when Trump made his plea for assist acquiring deleted Hillary Clinton emails neither he nor the assembled viewers have been laughing.



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