It’s not uncommon to see Donald Trump making headlines, and it’s equally uncommon for those headlines to be positive. That doesn’t really matter to Trump: not only do negative headlines keep people talking about the former president (very important leading up to the 2024 presidential election), but Trump can usually get his followers to disbelieve anything that criticizes him by calling it “fake news.”
However, there are times that Trump said some truly awful things in front of national and even international audiences. These are statements that can’t really be spun in any real way and leave listeners with the impression that the man saying horrible things is, in fact, a horrible person. Want some examples? Keep reading to learn more about Donald Trump’s most horrifically unforgettable media moments!
Offering fake, dangerous cures for COVID
Looking back, it’s easy to see that some presidents had it easier than others. Not every president, for example, had to face anything like the COVID-19 pandemic that Donald Trump faced. Unfortunately, instead of rising to the occasion, Trump ended up making the situation much, much worse.
As NBC News reports, Trump took a recent report showing that disinfectant could remove COVID-19 from surfaces and began riffing on how it would affect the human body. “I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning?,” he asked. “As you see, it gets in the lungs, it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that.”
Following these insane statements, doctors all around the world had to warn people about the dangers of following Trump’s advice and injecting or even ingesting disinfectants. Even the makers of Lysol had to warn everyone about how sick they would get if they ended up drinking disinfectant! The bad advice combined with Trump’s childish, racist nickname for COVID (“the China virus,”) it seemed like Trump just wasn’t taking this seriously.
Asking officials to “find” votes
One of Trump’s most consistently explosive claims is that he actually won the 2020 election and that Joe Biden only became president due to so-called election interference. Such claims have consistently been thrown out of court, but here’s the ironic cherry on top: Trump himself was caught on tape allegedly trying to rig the election in his favor!
As the Brennan Center for Justice reports, audio eventually leaked of Trump’s January 2021 conversation with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. In the tape, you can hear Trump falsely claiming that thousands of fraudulent votes came from dead people (the real number was only two). After Raffensperger told Trump this, the president allegedly said, “All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” he said. “So tell me, Brad, what are we going to do? We won the election, and it’s not fair to take it away from us like this.”
Fortunately, the Secretary of State refused to make any changes, telling Trump that his office must stand by the actual numbers they have. He urged Trump to take his claims to court, but as we have seen, such claims never make it very far because of the absence of any proof.
Bragging about committing sexual assault
Speaking of leaked audio, nothing damaged Donald Trump’s reputation quite as much as the discussion between himself and Extra host Billy Bush. In part of the conversation, Trump describes trying to have sex with a woman in the worst possible terms. “I moved on her, and I failed. I’ll admit it,” Trump said, adding: “I did try and f*** her. She was married. … And I moved on her very heavily … I moved on her like a b***h, but I couldn’t get there.”
That would have been bad enough, but Trump’s later comments about set escort Arianne Zucker were so much worse. “You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. … I don’t even wait,” Trump said before delivering the line that would haunt his career and legacy: “When you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the p***y. You can do anything.”
Trump later apologized for what he said but tried to dismiss it as “locker room talk.” In its own way, the fact that Trump tried to normalize this awful kind of talk makes things even worse!
Branding Mexicans as rapists
For all the controversies Donald Trump would cause as president, nobody could say that voters didn’t know who they were supporting. As the Washington Post reports, Trump announced his presidential campaign with some bizarre and racist statements directed toward Mexico. In discussing illegal immigrants coming into the United States from Latin America, he said, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. … They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” Trump then wrapped up with as line as absurd as it was offensive: “And some, I assume, are good people.”
Trying to paint the majority of a nation as rapists, criminals, and drug dealers was awful, of course. But Trump went on to infamously say “I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall.” By the time Trump left office, not only was the wall never completed, but Mexico never paid for its construction as promised.