It’s always easy to tell when President Trump goes off teleprompter. He’ll break the dronelike cadence he uses when reading prepared text, look directly at the crowd he’s speaking to, employ one of his many verbal tics — “believe me” and “I will tell you” are some of the most common — and then say something no speech writer would ever commit to paper.
It happened Friday at the Values Voter Summit, where he was trudging through a speech when he looked away to mention the states and territories he’s visited in the aftermath of this year’s devastating hurricane season. “I will tell you, I left Texas and I left Florida and I left Louisiana, and I went to Puerto Rico, and I met with the president of the Virgin Islands,” he said.
As the president of the United States, Trump is, of course, the president of the U.S. Virgin Islands. He was supposed to say that he met with the governor of the Virgin Islands, Kenneth Mapp, as the White House transcript later clarified. After this mistake, it’s safe to assume that Trump will never go off teleprompter again.