Chinese officials were forced to look on as Trump rambled continually during a White House event.
On Wednesday, at a White House event billed as a signing ceremony for the first phase of a trade deal with China, Trump spent over a half-hour lurching randomly through a variety of unrelated topics as Chinese officials looked on.
The White House billed the event as "a signing ceremony of an agreement between the United States and China."
Despite proclaiming that the deal is "the biggest deal there is anywhere in the world by far," Trump spent little time at the event addressing the agreement itself.
Instead, as noted by White House pool reporter Meridith McGraw of Politico, Trump "tick[ed] through a long list of officials, lawmakers, and businessmen and women to offer comments, compliments, anecdotes and jokes."
Trump used his time to hail Fox Business host Lou Dobbs, who was in attendance. Trump called Dobbs' show "very important" and said it has a "tremendous audience." Dobbs recently scolded Americans for not praising Trump enough.
Trump also called Rupert Murdoch, the CEO of Fox News' parent company News Corp., "the greatest."
Another detour included a riff on a purported "22-year" waiting period to build highways due to environmental regulation.
As he was hailing South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem, Trump said he would appear at Mt. Rushmore for Fourth of July fireworks and insisted that "nobody knows" why a display at the monument, which is surrounded by forest land, could have a negative environmental impact.
Pointing out his frequent golfing partner and serial congressional defender Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) in the audience, Trump said Graham is a "much better golfer than people wouldn't understand."
As he named several of his congressional allies in attendance, Trump thanked figures like Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, also a Republican, for defending him during the impeachment inquiry.
Trump pointed out several business executives in attendance, including the CEO of JP Morgan Asset and Wealth Management, who he urged to say "thank you, Mr. President" for their most recent earnings announcement.
Noting an official from eBay, Trump told an unverified anecdote about signing items, then seeing them on the service for auction the next day for thousands of dollars.
Trump also said that "you don't hear complaints about the [Veterans Administration system] anymore." The claim is untrue.
"The Chinese delegation stood to the president's side as he spoke," noted the White House press pool report of the event.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.