A viral video appeared to show Donald Trump wandering aimlessly after speaking to reporters on the White House lawn and walking away from Marine One that was waiting for him. However, as some reporters pointed out, the video did not show what many of the president’s critics seemed to think — and it did not even come from this year.
The video began making the rounds on Twitter this weekend, showing the president giving a wave as he ended remarks to reporters near a driveway on the White House grounds. He then turned toward the aircraft, which looked to be awaiting takeoff on the lawn behind him, before turning around and walking back toward the driveway, where he came to a stop near a puddle.
To many, the clip appeared to show Trump confused and walking aimlessly, not remembering where he was supposed to be headed. Yet, radio host and Salon writer Bob Cesca shared on Twitter that those who believed Trump was wandering were wrong, and that he intended to end up on the spot near the puddle.
“The video of Trump appearing to wander aimlessly is apparently him waiting to meet Melania on the lawn so they can pretend to like each other as they kerplunk over to Marine One,” Cesca wrote, adding that he had deleted the post he had previously shared of the interaction.
Charlie Spiering, a White House correspondent for Breitbart News, also posted the clip and noted that those sharing it had failed to clarify that the incident took place more than a full year ago. He noted that in the longer footage, Trump could be seen walking with the first lady and helping her avoid the puddle on the driveway.
Trending video of Trump walking around on the South Lawn and pointing to a puddle lacks context.
Video is from August 2019 — He walks over to meet First Lady Melania Trump – points out the puddle so that she can avoid it and they walk to Marine One together
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) September 7, 2020
But the post that was capturing viral interest cut out before Trump was joined by his wife, though it was not clear if the edit was intentional. Cesca’s explanation did not appear to reach a number of the people sharing it, many of whom included messages questioning Trump’s mental fitness. As the clip was trending on Twitter — with the words “Marine One” shooting to the top of the site’s trends on Monday as many included that in the explanation — few others presented it in context or pointed out that the president’s movements appeared to be intentional, not erratic or confused.
Many of Trump’s critics have questioned his mental competence, claiming that he has shown signs of cognitive decline or instability.