Donald Trump was up to his usual shenanigans Thursday evening. What was supposed to be quiet dinner with his top military commanders, their spouses and Melania Trump turned into a guessing game of, "What is he talking about?"
The White House Communications Staff was wrapping up for the night when they were summoned to the dining room for a group photo op of the guests. As pictures were being taken Trump asked,
"You guys know what this represents?" He then paused for dramatic effect, circling his finger to indicate the commanders and continued, "Maybe it’s the calm before the storm."
As reporters pressed him to clarify the statement, Trump only continued with the melodramatic mystery.
“ It’s the calm before the storm We have the world’s great military people in this room, I will tell you that."
As reported asked again for clarification, Trump wrapped up the bizarre impromptu photo shoot and said good night.
Former secretary of defense Leon Panetta appeared on CNN on Friday and said the following about Trump's behavior:
“If something like that was said in a past presidency, you’d really worry about it but this is a president who tweets, who engages now in verbal tweets as well. . . You begin to assume that it’s more about getting attention, than it is about proclaiming some kind of national policy. I don’t think it’s responsible, I don’t think presidents ought to do it, but I think in this instance, we probably all should take a deep breath and try to assume that he’s just making a play for attention.”
Timothy O'Brien, author of "TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald" and a vocal critic of Trump had this to say about the odd behavior:
"I think this is a president who is living in a constant reality TV show. He loves the notion of 'Tune in next week for the next exciting installation of 'The White House,' an ongoing reality show and national psychodrama. He believes he connects to people by keeping the mystery alive, when, in reality, what we want from our parents, our managers and our presidents are people who provide direction and clarity in a sober-minded way."
We just had the largest mass murder in US modern history, people are dying in Puerto Rico, and Trump calls this the calm before the storm?— Amy Siskind (@Amy_Siskind) October 6, 2017
What kind of idiot makes a “calm before the storm” statement like that. America is grieving Las Vegas and he adds worry. He is mentally ill.— David Hoffman (@atDavidHoffman) October 6, 2017
"The calm before the storm" How insane and inappropriate is it for the president of the United States to say that?— Tony Schwartz (@tonyschwartz) October 6, 2017
No one I've spoken to in the White House is entirely clear what Trump meant when he said "calm before the storm" and "you'll find out."— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) October 6, 2017
Trump hasn’t tweeted all day. That isn’t like him at all. Wonder what’s up. Maybe this is the “calm before the storm”?— Boston Leigh (@GirlNamedBoston) October 7, 2017