Trump’s obsession with the image of his presidency has become a cornerstone of his presidency, whether it’s his need to hire stern-looking staffers from “central casting”; firing pollsters for making him look bad; or refusing to be seen outside of a suit. New to the list, provided in an extensive report on Trump’s Twitter use published by the New York Times, is that he prefers to tweet alone because he doesn’t like to wear the reading glasses he needs to see his phone screen.
As a natural bully with dated social mores who doesn’t read and is concerned with looking tough, there’s an intuitive level of sense to Trump’s desire not to wear, or be seen wearing, reading glasses. As someone who has made fun of people for wearing glasses — and said in 2014 that he was “too vain” — to wear them, it’s quite possible that he does not consider them appropriate for the image of his presidency. Not liking glasses, however, has not stopped the president from selling them: The 2016 Donald J. Trump Signature Collection features 29 frames that are “like fine architecture” and feature “elegant classic designs for discriminating men and women.”
Though this is the first report on Trump’s vision as president, there has been speculation about his corrective needs before. Trump has read teleprompters incorrectly despite boosting the font size from the text of previous administrations, squints a whole lot, and is reportedly afraid of stairs.
As with many of the president’s image-based decisions, there’s a victim for his reported policy of not wearing glasses in public: White House social-media director Dan Scavino. After Trump arrives in the West Wing at the very reasonable hour of 10 a.m., Scavino takes over the Twitter feed, printing out tweet drafts in extra-large fonts to show his boss. According to the Times, the aide sits in a “closet-sized room” waiting for Trump to yell out “Scavino!” — his cue to post whatever the president has dictated.