Donald Trump reportedly interrupted briefings with White House chief of staff Reince Priebus in order to ask him unusual questions about badgers, the state animal of Preibus’ home of Wisconsin.
According to Business Insider, a new book called “Sinking In the Swamp” claims that Trump would often sideline meetings to ask Priebus if badgers were mean, if Priebus kept pictures of them, and how badgers “work.”
The book, written by Lachlan Markay and Asawin Suebsaeng, reporters at The Daily Beast, details Trump’s apparent obsession with Priebus, Wisconsin, and the state’s mammal. The authors claim that Trump seemed to get a thrill out of wasting Priebus’ time with bizarre questions about the animal.
“After Trump was reminded that the short-legged omnivore was practically synonymous with the Badger State, he’d make a point of bringing it up at seemingly random occasions to his beleaguered chief of staff,” the book asserts.
The questions apparently continued and Trump would ask Priebus if the animals are known for having a personality or if they’re “boring.” He reportedly also questioned whether they could hurt someone with their sharp claws. It seems that Trump assigned Priebus the role of White House badger expert, the book says, and he would ask about basics like what they eat or if they could be deadly when threatened.
“‘Are they mean to people?’ Trump at least twice asked Priebus in the opening months of his presidency,” the book reveals. “‘Or are they friendly creatures?'”
Trump’s questions apparently exasperated his staff as they continually tried to provide important information to the president while he repeatedly changed the topic.
“An obviously enthralled president would stare at Priebus as the aide struggled for sufficiently placating answers,” they added, “all the while trying to gently veer the conversation back to whether we were going to do a troop surge in Afghanistan or strip millions of Americans of healthcare coverage.”
Badgers weren’t the only topic that Trump, who is facing renewed criticism and calls for impeachment for his alleged misdeeds, seemed to be obsessed with. The book says that he also frequently asked about garbage, wondering where it went and if the trash in space was circling the globe or if it ever came crashing back down to Earth.
He apparently also asked if space junk is a national security threat and who was creating all this garbage.
Priebus served as Trump’s chief of staff for about six months, ending his term in July 2017 when he was forced out. He was replaced by General John Kelly, who was later replaced by Mick Mulvaney.