Donald Trump addresses the impeachment hearings by reading verbatim from a notepad containing large, all caps nonsense words
The Trump impeachment hearings are coming to a close and as per usual, President Trump has a ton of opinions on the topic. On Wednesday, November 20, 2019, U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland testified that there was definitely a quid pro quo arrangement between the Trump administration and Ukraine, but of course, Trump refuted that claim and stuck to his talking points — talking points that were written on a notepad in large all-caps sharpie.
Trump’s “talking points” were reportedly in reference to Sondland asking Trump what he actually “wanted” from Ukraine, though in true Trump-form, his answer was only barely English-adjacent. On top of that, Trump wrote his “speech” (we use the word “speech” here, very loosely), in all caps and black sharpie — not unlike say, the all-caps, black sharpie notes your grandpa leaves around the house — which were photographed as Trump stood on the White House lawn reading off them during a press briefing.
Trump’s notes read, in full: “I want nothing. I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. Tell Zellinsky to do the right thing. This is the final word from the president of the U.S.”
In case you were wondering if Trump’s nonsensical scribbles were there to help him remember a say, more coherent speech, NOPE — he read them verbatim with the conviction of a regional theater performer. His “I want nothing” tirade starts at the 1:55 second mark.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) November 20, 2019
Despite the insanity, I’m giddy with anticipation for this weekend’s Saturday Night Live. Naturally, Trump’s notecards were a gift to Twitter.
You can sing the presidental talking points to the tune of Frere Jacques. Try it. It’s fun.
I want nothing
I want nothing
I want no
Quid pro quo
Tell Volodymyr Zellinsky
I will do the right thing
— Scott Peters (@ScottPetersSD) November 20, 2019
I WANT NOTHING! pic.twitter.com/drUgJBAbRi
— Joe Gutowski (@j_gutowski) November 20, 2019
— Brennan Keller (@BKs_GarbagePile) November 20, 2019
Not surprisingly, the president was not embarrassed by his bizarro rhetoric, he doubled down on his sentiment and tweeted “I WANT NOTHING!” alongside a clip from Fox News which attempted to explain what “I want nothing” even means (Fox News decided that it means Trump did not “want” anything (i.e. an investigation into Joe Biden) from Ukraine. If Fox News doesn’t know how to translate a Trump speech into English, who can)
I WANT NOTHING! pic.twitter.com/KKUfwSIRAi
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 20, 2019
This isn’t the first time the president needed handwritten note cards for very basic speeches or interactions. Last year after the Parkland shooting, Trump visited grieving families and was photographed holding note cards that reminded him to say “I hear you.” Yes, really.
All jokes aside, as for the the impeachment hearing, was there quid pro quo or not? And did Trump “want” anything or nothing?
According to Sondland’s sworn testimony today (via The Washington Post), he said, point blank: “I know that members of this committee have frequently framed these complicated issues in the form of a simple question: Was there a ‘quid pro quo?’ With regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting, the answer is yes.”