There is nothing like a visual aid to really hammer home a point. That seems to be the philosophy of President Trump's White House, anyway.

When press secretary Sean Spicer brought two stacks of paper to his media briefing Tuesday, it was not the first time he or his boss had used a prop to make a point during a news conference. Here is a brief history:

'Look at the size. This is the Democrats. This is us.'

The piles of paper at Tuesday's briefing represented two versions of federal health-care legislation: the original Affordable Care Act passed by a Democratic-controlled Congress in 2009 (tall stack) and the Republican revision released this week (short stack).

“Look at the size,” Spicer said, gesturing to the piles. “This is the Democrats. This is us. You can't get any clearer, in terms of, this is government; this is not.”

'Literally 100 percent the same'

In a news briefing on Jan. 30, Spicer vented his frustration at coverage of a memo outlining the Trump administration's plan for the National Security Council. Journalists were particularly interested in the addition of White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon to the council and language that indicated the director of national intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff would not automatically be included on the Principals Committee, where much of the council's important work is done.

Seeking to emphasize that the Trump administration's language was similar to that of the Obama administration, Spicer held up documents that he had highlighted to show the overlap.

'Some members of the media were engaged in deliberately false reporting'


Spicer made his debut as press secretary on the day after Trump's inauguration. He was fuming — and he brought slides to help illustrate his anger.

Accusing the media of “deliberately false reporting,” Spicer first showed one of his own tweets, which featured a photo of a Martin Luther King Jr. bust in the Oval Office. The tweet was a response to an erroneous pool report that had stated the bust was gone. The report was quickly corrected, and there is no reason to believe the journalist responsible for the mistake acted deliberately.

Spicer then showed a photo of the Inauguration Day crowd and proceeded to deliver some false information of his own about attendance.

'These papers are just some of the many documents I have signed, turning over complete and total control'

Spicer didn't come up with the idea of paper as a prop on his own. At his only news conference between Election Day and Inauguration Day, Trump displayed piles of manila folders that he said were filled with “just some of the many documents” he had signed, ceding control of his business holdings to his adult children.

Trump did not allow reporters to inspect the folders, however, prompting some to wonder whether the papers were really legal documents or merely blanks used to project the image of a politician who takes conflict-of-interest concerns very seriously.

'Trump steaks: Where are the steaks?'

After 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney sharply criticized Trump's business record, Trump displayed several of his branded products at a news conference last March: water, wine, steaks and a magazine.

“Trump steaks: Where are the steaks? Do we have the steaks” he said at one point. “We have Trump steaks. … By the way, if you want to take one, we'll charge you about, what, 50 bucks a steak. No, I'm only [kidding.]”