‘Not a good feeling’: Trump blames teleprompter malfunction for ‘airports’ gaffe

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US President Donald Trump blamed his crediting of the US Army with taking over “airports” in 1814 – a century before they existed – on a teleprompter that went blank during his big Independence Day speech.

“Actually right in the middle of that sentence, it went out,” Trump told reporters on Friday, as he was leaving the White House for the weekend. “And that’s not a good feeling, when you’re standing in front of millions and millions of people on television.”

Trump took to the podium at the Lincoln Memorial on Thursday for a ‘Salute to America’ program that featured flyovers by all four branches of the military, despite a rainstorm. The rain must have shorted out the teleprompter, the president suggested.

He was in the middle of speaking about the US army’s triumphs after the War of Independence, and improvised with the baffling line, “Our army manned the air, it ran the ramparts, it took over the airports, it did everything it had to do.”

It did not help things that the Army’s four Apache attack helicopters had appeared early, flying over the Washington Monument as Trump was still speaking and before the military band was able to strike up their song.

Trump is well known to stumble over written remarks, often filling the gaps with improvised observations before rounding back to the prepared text – sometimes with hilarious results.

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