WASHINGTON — In theory, President Trump summoned television cameras to the heat-baked Rose Garden early Tuesday evening to announce new measures against China to punish it for its oppression of Hong Kong. But that did not last long.
What followed instead was an hour of presidential stream of consciousness as Mr. Trump drifted seemingly at random from one topic to another, often in the same run-on sentence. Even for a president who rarely sticks to the script and wanders from thought to thought, it was one of the most rambling performances of his presidency.
He weighed in on China and the coronavirus and the Paris climate change accord and crumbling highways. And then China again and military spending and then China again and then the coronavirus again. And the economy and energy taxes and trade with Europe and illegal immigration and his friendship with Mexico’s president. And the coronavirus again and then immigration again and crime in Chicago and the death penalty and back to climate change and education and historical statues. And more.
“We could go on for days,” he said at one point, and it sounded plausible.
I rarely watch Trump speeches but I made myself sit through this one. It was really, really bad.