Donald Trump Offered a Step-By-Step Analysis of His West Point Ramp Moment

Gabrielle Bruney
Photo credit: David Dee Delgado - Getty Images

From Esquire

Photo credit: David Dee Delgado - Getty Images

President Donald Trump isn't known for paying great attention to detail. He only rarely reads intelligence briefings, and his advisors know that he's far more likely to pay attention to charts and graphics than written text. But despite his usual aversion to detailed inquiry, Trump took to Twitter Saturday with a step-by-step analysis—of his walk down a ramp.

After forcing seniors at the US Military Academy to return to West Point and enter a two-week quarantine just so that he could deliver their commencement address in person, Trump spoke to the graduating cadets Saturday morning. While using a ramp to descend from the dais, the president appeared to walk cautiously, taking small steps. Video of the moment was shared on social media, and because it's absolutely the sort of thing a normal president would ignore, especially during the dual crises of a pandemic and a national reckoning with police brutality, Trump decided to dive into the fray personally.

"The ramp that I descended after my West Point Commencement speech was very long & steep, had no handrail and, most importantly, was very slippery," tweeted Trump. "The last thing I was going to do is 'fall' for the Fake News to have fun with. Final ten feet I ran down to level ground. Momentum!"

Like a lot of Trump's missives, much of this tweet doesn't stand up to fact checking. The Washington Post noted that the weather was sunny at West Point on Saturday, and that the "grass plain on which the commencement took place was dry." Video of the moment also clearly showed that the president didn't run at all.

At another point during his appearance, Trump took a sip of water while using two hands to support the glass. That clip also went viral, which may have been part of the reason the president took to twitter to defend his "run" down the ramp. As the Post pointed out, the 74-year-old president "is exceptionally attuned to—some advisers say obsessed with—the image he presents to the public and strives to be seen as strong and vigorous."

It's not the only time the president's stair-stepping style has made the news. After he was spotted holding hands with then-UK Prime Minister Theresa May in 2017, May told a reporter that, "What you notice is that whenever he takes me down a slope or stairs—he did it up the steps at Blenheim Palace—he takes my hand to help in going up the steps."

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