Donald Trump has an explanation for his claim that during the Revolutionary War “Our Army … took over the airports”: It’s the teleprompter’s fault. Trump, who used to love to mock President Barack Obama for using a teleprompter, told reporters that the teleprompter failed “right in the middle of that sentence” and that “I guess the rain knocked out the teleprompter…it was actually hard to look at anyway, ’cause it was rain all over.”
Let’s say we believe him for a minute, even though we should never believe anything Trump says without reams of corroboration. If we believe Trump that the teleprompter went out and he had to ad-lib the rest of the sentence … what we’re still looking at is Trump having the Army taking over airports in 1775 or 1776. That may exonerate his speechwriter, but it doesn’t exonerate Trump himself.
But second, here’s how that passage went as delivered:
Our Army manned the air, it rammed the ramparts, it took over the airports, it did everything it had to do, and at Fort McHenry, under the rocket’s red glare it had nothing but victory. And when dawn came, their star-spangled banner waved defiant.
So we’re supposed to believe that the teleprompter went out toward the beginning of that sentence, before the airports part, and that Donald Trump himself summoned the spontaneous rhetorical flourish of “under the rocket’s red glare it had nothing but victory. And when dawn came, their star-spangled banner waved defiant.” Yeah, no. We’ve heard Trump talk way too much to believe that his brain would produce those words in that order with any amount of preparation, let alone when taken by surprise when a teleprompter failed.
Nice try, Donald, but nope.
(Oh, and Fort McHenry wasn’t constructed until 1798. Before airports, but after the Revolutionary War. That rocket’s red glare stuff? That was the War of 1812.)