White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer tried to make a case for the success of President Trump’s inaugural foreign trip since taking office while speaking at the start of Tuesday’s daily press briefing, but his attempt at such fell, unsurprisingly, flat.
He began by saying:
‘I want to begin by recapping the incredible and historic trip that the President and the First Lady have just concluded, because it truly was an extraordinary week for America and our people. In just 9 days, the President traveled across Europe and the Middle East and interacted with over 100 foreign leaders.’
Spicer went on to explain that, in his estimation, the splendor of Trump’s trip is indicated not only by how many people he interacted with, but also by how early Trump’s inaugural foreign trip came in his time in office.
There’s a problem here, though. The number of hands that Trump shook has nothing to do with the success of the President’s first foreign trip since taking office, and yet, that’s Spicer’s first talking point. It’s also what the video of his Tuesday remarks posted to his Twitter account was captioned with, as you can see below.
The presidency is not a game, and quantity is not the same as quality. Referencing how many hands Trump shook is a cheap substitute for the non-existent references to the tangible commitments to alliances that didn’t take place during Trump’s trip.
Spicer eventually referenced President Trump’s speech in Saudi Arabia calling on the Muslim world to combat terrorism, but with praise for that speech coming from people like Newt Gingrich, it can hardly be said to be demonstrably good.