At the White House's 'social media conference', Trump gave one of the most bizarre — and flagrantly false — speeches of his entire presidency
'How did a fly get into the White House? I don't like flies! I don't like flies!'
Donald Trump had set the stage perfectly for a right-wing, conspiracy-filled spectacle at the White House social media summit Thursday — until a fly flew into the building.
“How did a fly get into the White House?” the president said, swatting at the bug as it approached his face. “I don’t like flies. I don’t like flies!”
The interruption was just one extra delight during a bizarre speech designed to attack Trump’s apparent critics rather than address any systemic issues facing social media platforms.
Trump vented about many of the same grievances he typically posts on Twitter, attacking the platform without any evidence while claiming that the people who work there are preventing him from gaining a larger following. He also hinted at a possible upcoming meeting at the White House with executives from the leading social media sites and new regulations his administration may implement online.
The president went off-script on several occasions, acknowledging that some of the conspiracy theorists, meme creators and other guests he invited to the White House actually deserve to be banned from social media platforms — a move he and his most fervent supporters have long opposed. “Some of you were [banned from social media platforms] for absolutely no reason. I mean in all fairness some of you I could almost understand it,” he said, as people laughed in the audience. “I mean some of you guys are out there.”
“The crap you think of is unbelievable!” he added.
Trump also used his time at the podium to attack everything from the US Federal Reserve to antifa, the militant left-wing group that he said consists of men with “small arms” who only show up when there is “one guy protesting outside of a school” rather than at a “biker’s rally” in support of the president. At one point, he appeared to be provoking the group by suggesting its members were afraid of his supporters.
The president then went on to claim the Democratic Party wanted to implement communism across the United States — which not a single elected politician in the US House of Representatives has called for — and that the hair on his head was real. He added that Americans are now sure of that, after seeing him rained on at the Independence Day festivities in Washington.
There is so much publicly available data to prove Trump’s claims during this meet-up were flagrantly false. For starters, while the president said his and other voices on the right are being suppressed on Twitter, reports show conservative content, publications and personalities have flourished on social media over the years. He has been asked not to ban people on Twitter specifically because of the international popularity of his tweets.
Some of the more outlandish claims he made today are extremely unlikely to be true: Trump said, for example, that Twitter employees were all involved in a major conspiracy to lower his follow count and reduce the number of retweets seen on posts published by conservatives.
The president’s remarks were not broadcast by any major cable news outlets and were not live streamed by C-SPAN. But if Trump proved anything at the White House social media summit, it’s that he has found a permanent way to get his message sent directly to his supporters — so long as they are not banned on social media for the “crap” they come up with.