Trump Thinks Grocery Stores Will Give Furloughed Employees Free Food

by Christina Marfice
Image via Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Don’t worry, government employees! Trump says you can just ask grocery stores for free food during the shutdown

It’s Day 35 of the government shutdown, which means government employees have now gone five weeks without pay, even though many of them are still working. For the nearly 80 percent of American workers who live paycheck-to-paycheck, even a few weeks without pay can be devastating. With the shutdown going over a month, government workers are turning to resources like food banks and GoFundMe to make ends meet. Understandably, many of them are looking to Donald Trump for answers and support.

So what’s Trump’s solution for government employees and their families who literally can’t afford to buy food right now? Apparently he thinks they should just go to grocery stores and ask for freebies. Because that’s a thing.

In a 45-second video clip from a press briefing, Trump showed all of America that he’s never shopped for groceries in his entire, privileged-as-all-hell life, because he has literally no idea how grocery stores — or money — work.

“Local people know who they are when they go for groceries and everything else,” Trump says in his barely-coherent answer to a question about financial relief for furloughed workers. “They will work along. I know banks are working along if you have mortgages. The folks collecting the interest and all of those things, they work along. And that’s what happens in a time like this. They know the people, they’ve been dealing with them for years, and they work along.”

In all fairness, it is difficult to understand that rambling mess of run-on sentences. But it sounds an awful lot like Trump is saying he thinks government workers should go to their local grocery stores, like it’s a Cheers bar where everybody knows their name, and ask for free food.

Trump right now, probably:

Meanwhile, the internet, AKA all the people who know how grocery stores work, have some different thoughts.

As if this could get any worse, Trump’s astonishingly out-of-touch remarks were made in response to what his Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, said earlier this week about the financial plight of furloughed federal workers. His advice? Just take out a loan to cover bills and, you know, buy food.

“True, the people might have to pay a little bit of interest, but the idea that it’s paycheck or zero is not a really valid idea,” Ross said Thursday. We’re not even going to get into all the myriad reasons it is utterly ridiculous that another rich white dude is telling nearly a million Americans that they should have to suck it up and pay interest on a loan just to be able to feed their families.

Meanwhile, there’s no end in sight for the shutdown. Two measures that could have ended it failed to get enough votes to pass this week. Government employees are still without pay, and there’s still no telling when that may change.