White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said that President Trump was being “tongue in cheek” when he claimed yesterday that Democrats who didn’t clap for him during his State of the Union address last week were “treasonous.”
During an Ohio appearance that was supposed to be about tax cuts, Trump had also labeled the offending lawmakers “un-American” for failing to congratulate him enough during the address. Gidley didn’t mention whether Trump was joking about that part.
The “He was just kidding!” defense has become a time-honored tradition in the Trump White House, often deployed in an attempt to gloss over a particularly odious or just plain bizarre comment from the president.
It is true that Trump’s cadence, rhythm, and delivery have the feeling of comedy, even as he spews hateful invective — a disorienting phenomenon that has been explored at length.
But that doesn’t mean that his “jokes” represent anything other than how he truly feels.