Trump and Pence on MLK Day
Some commentators were surprised when Donald Trump and Mike Pence showed up at the Martin Luther Kng Jr. Memorial last Monday on Martin Luther King Day. After all, Donald Trump clearly does not think much of Dr. King and it must painful for him to be forced to celebrate the man.
In February 2017, for example, Trump tried his best to say something nice about Dr. King.
Some Americans are convinced that Trump and Dr. King have had a long-running feud that caused King to skip Trump’s inauguration in 2017.
Visting the MLK Memorial
Nevertheless, the fearless leader made sure to both fulfill his obligation and register his disdain for Dr. King at the same time by staying for approximately two minutes before he and Vice President Pence moved on to another event.
The presidential delegation’s short stay was somewhat unusual since a president would typically have a formal role in commemorating a national holiday such as this.
Barack Obama on Martin Luther King Day
During his presidency, Barack Obama participated in community service projects and encouraged others to do so his well. His 2017 Presidential Proclamation on the holiday repeated the exhortation he had made in past statements about the day.
These were not just words, however. Barack Obama and other presidents like George W. Bush typically participated in MLK Day community service events to help draw attention to the powerful impact of Dr. King’s community-minded approach to social justice.
Thus, when Trump had to leave after only two minutes, one could reasonably assume that he was moving on to perform some kind of community service.
Donald Trump and MLK
But this, after all, is Donald Trump. In 2018, his first real crack at acting presidential on MLK Day, he did not perform any community service, but he did play golf.
Trump has not done well honoring King’s legacy at other important moments either. For example, on April 4, 2018, 50 years after Dr. King’s assassination, Trump ignored the historic anniversary. Yet, he did find time to tweet about the trade war he had started with China.
Perhaps Trump does not feel the need to commemorate Dr. King since they are so much alike. At least according to Trump’s second lieutenant Mike Pence who credits both Dr. King and the “Donald” for “inspiring us to change.”
One suspects that Pence is not really channelling his commander-in-chief’s allegiances with regard to Dr. King. This tweet seems to more accurately capture Trump’s true feelings toward the civil rights icon.
Where Did Trump and Pence Go?
We probably should not expect that Trump would leave the MLK commemoration to participate in another MLK-oriented event or community service activity. We probably should not expect him to be doing anything presidential at all.
Yet the curious among us cannot help but wonder: Where did he go?
Fortunately, newly released video now documents what Donald Trump and Mike Pence were doing shortly after leaving the MLK Memorial on January 21, 2019.