President Trump is the most powerful person in the world. He is also an elderly man who is confused by speakerphone. Those two facts collided this afternoon during a press spray in the Oval Office when Trump tried to put Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on speakerphone while announcing a new trade deal between the U.S. and Mexico.
While clearly stoked to get on live TV and announce that he and Peña Nieto renegotiated NAFTA, Trump’s momentum was undercut by the awkward dead air the press corp and the entire home viewing audience endured when he tried to hold an impromptu joint summit over the phone.
In fairness, this painful minute of watching Trump call out to Peña Nieto mirrors the first few minutes of every conference call, when everyone gathers into a room only to watch the person leading the meeting helplessly press buttons and call out the names of attendees. Thankfully, those moments don’t get broadcast live on all of the cable news networks.
The call ended on a warm note with Peña Nieto offering Trump “an affectionate hug” and Trump responding “a hug from you will be very nice.”
There was nary a mention of that border wall.