President Trump — with a widening probe over Russian election interference, frustrations with his hand-picked attorney general and difficulties in repealing Obamacare — is still running his election night victory lap.
“Do you remember that incredible night with the maps?” Trump asked throngs of children mostly ineligible to vote at the National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia on Monday.
POTUS spoke as if he was in front of a rally crowd, as oppose to 12 to 18 year old Scouts.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) July 24, 2017
Trump the president has long blurred with Trump the campaigner, who then sought to downplay Hillary Clinton's victory in the popular vote and now boasts about what he calls a historic win.
Even now, nine months after the election, Trump and Republicans can't stop running against Clinton, who is unpopular with their base of voters.
But the audience does not always fit the message, as some critics sought to point out.
Here are some of those moments, in which Trump bragged about winning at the wrong time, in the wrong place:
But first, the numbers
Presidents have historically used their election wins as launchpads to discuss issues facing allies and world leaders who have suddenly become peers.
That was, until Trump called Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in late January to criticize past agreements made by President Barack Obama to accept 1,250 refugees in Australia and resettle them in the United States. But the conversation also included boasts about the size of Trump's win over Clinton, even though he'd lost the popular vote.
The same sentiment cropped up in February when Trump was alongside the head of another longtime ally, Canada. During a presser with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Trump was asked about the deportation of Syrian refugees and answered: “That's what I said I would do. I'm just doing what I said I would do, and we won by a very, very large electoral college vote.”
Make sure you print a copy
Trump's focus on his win is not simply about the victory but also the aesthetics of it — the large swaths of red broken up by reliably blue counties. In April, Trump paused during a discussion of Chinese President Xi Jinping to hand out copies of the 2016 electoral map to Reuters reporters in the Oval Office.
“Here, you can take that, that's the final map of the numbers,” Trump said, according to Reuters. “It’s pretty good, right? The red is obviously us.”
Trump also asked The Washington Post's White House bureau chief, Phillip Rucker, to print the map on the front page of the paper for coverage related to the 100-day mark.
Spotted: A map to be hung somewhere in the West Wing pic.twitter.com/TpPPDyNFtE
— Trey Yingst (@TreyYingst) May 11, 2017
Deflecting question on anti-Semitism
At a joint event with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in February, Trump was asked by an Israeli journalist about the perception that campaign rhetoric and his victory had inspired anti-Semitic attacks.
It was an opportunity for Trump to urge Americans to unite following a bitterly fought campaign.
That is not what happened.
“Well, I just want to say that we are, you know, very honored by the victory that we had: 306 electoral college votes,” Trump said. “We were not supposed to crack 220. You know that, right? There was no way to 221, but then they said there’s no way to 270.”
Trump eventually got to the answer, vowing to end “long-simmering racism and every other thing that’s going on,” and said his daughter Ivanka and her husband and presidential adviser Jared Kushner are Orthodox Jews.
National Scout Jamboree
Surely Trump could avoid politicking before a crowd while speaking to children learning to tie knots, make fires and perform first aid. He even acknowledged that idea.
“Who the hell wants to speak about politics when I’m in front of the Boy Scouts?” he asked — and then quickly veered into a discussion about health-care reform.
“By the way, are you going to get the votes? You better get the votes. Otherwise, I’ll say, ‘Tom, you’re fired,’ ” he said to Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, a reference to Price's task of selling legislation to lawmakers.
Trump also found his footing to discuss his march to victory, with a focus on upsetting state contests that strategists and analysts said appeared to safely land in Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's column.
The Boy Scouts of America are now booing Hillary Clinton as President Trump recounts his Michigan strategy and the election results.
— Jenna Johnson (@wpjenna) July 24, 2017
From the White House transcript of Monday's speech:
I have to tell you our economy is doing great. Our stock market has picked up — since the election November 8th. Do we remember that date? (Applause.) Was that a beautiful date? (Applause.) What a date.
Do you remember that famous night on television, November 8, where they said — these dishonest people — where they said there is no path to victory for Donald Trump? They forgot about the forgotten people. By the way, they're not forgetting about the forgotten people anymore. They're going crazy trying to figure it out. But I told them, far too late. It’s far too late.
But do you remember that incredible night with the maps and the Republicans are red and the Democrats are blue, and that map was so red, it was unbelievable, and they didn't know what to say? (Applause.)
And you know we have a tremendous disadvantage in the electoral college — popular vote is much easier. Because New York, California, Illinois — you have to practically run the East Coast. And we did. We won Florida. We won South Carolina. We won North Carolina. We won Pennsylvania. (Applause.)
We won and won. So when they said, there is no way to victory, there is no way to 270. I went to Maine four times because it’s one vote, and we won. But we won — one vote. I went there because I kept hearing we're at 269. But then Wisconsin came in. Many, many years — Michigan came in.
And we worked hard there. My opponent didn't work hard there because she was told —
THE PRESIDENT: She was told she was going to win Michigan, and I said, well, wait a minute, the car industry is moving to Mexico. Why is she going to move — she’s there. Why are they allowing it to move?
And by the way, do you see those car industry — do you see what’s happening, how they're coming back to Michigan? They're coming back to Ohio. They're starting to peel back in. (Applause.)
And we go to Wisconsin — now, Wisconsin hadn’t been won in many, many years by a Republican. But we go to Wisconsin, and we had tremendous crowds. And I’d leave these massive crowds. I’d say, why are we going to lose this state?
The polls — that's also fake news. They're fake polls. But the polls are saying — but we won Wisconsin. (Applause.) So I have to tell you what we did, in all fairness, is an unbelievable tribute to you and all of the other millions and millions of people that came out and voted for Make America Great Again. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA!
Trump's comments drew a smile from Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who wrote a book on Boy Scout values that are enshrined in Scout Law.
Among them: be friendly, courteous, kind and cheerful.
— Secretary Ryan Zinke (@SecretaryZinke) July 24, 2017
The issue prompted a response from the group over concerns the group may have endorsed Trump's political overtones.
“The Boy Scouts of America is wholly nonpartisan and does not promote any one position, product, service, political candidate or philosophy,” a representative told The Post in an emailed statement.
“The sitting U.S. president serves as the BSA’s honorary president. It is our long-standing custom to invite the U.S. president to the National Jamboree.”