“You need people that are truly, truly capable” Donald Trump wisely explained to hedge fund manager John Paulson in September of 2016, vowing to appoint to his potential administration only people of “great competence.” Today those people spent 22 minutes figuring out how to use a phone.
CBS reports that during a conference call regarding the president’s Iran nuclear deal position, White House officials spent nearly half an hour determining how exactly to mute the media representatives who had dialed in. (Politico reporter Michael Crowley estimated over 100 reporters were on the line.)
Muting is really the only skill—other than dialing—required to hold a conference call. Its difficulty bested Trump’s eminently qualified staff, to the chagrin and delight of reporters who began chiming in with mockery.
Here are some reported highlights, none of which were attributed to anyone in particular:
- Journalist: “This White House can’t even run a f*cking conference call. They don’t know how to mute their line.”
- Journalist: “Can’t this White House even run a press call?”
- White House staffer: “It’s the illegitimate media that doesn’t know how to conduct themselves. They can’t mute their f*cking phones.”
- Journalist: “This is Kim Jong Un calling for Donald Trump.”
No questions were taken at the end of the call. If you’re in possession of the audio—or a transcript—of these 22 minutes, please send them our way.