White House spokesman Josh Earnest talked at length about Donald Trump’s hair at a press conference Tuesday, after a reporter called him out for taking a Trump-like cheap shot.
“The Trump campaign for months now has had a ‘dustbin of history’-like quality to it,” Earnest said in the opening remarks of his daily briefing, responding to Trump’s proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from traveling to the United States:
From the vacuous sloganeering to the outright lies to even the fake hair, the whole carnival-barker routine that we’ve seen for some time now. The question now is about the rest of the Republican Party and whether or not they’re going to be dragged into the dustbin of history with him. [Emphasis added]
NPR’s national political correspondent Mara Liasson pressed Earnest on the hair comment. The exchange begins at around 47:15 in the video that follows.
“This might be a little nit-picky, but in your prepared remarks, you said something that struck me as very Trumpian and not very Obama-like,” Liasson said. “When you talked about Trump’s fake hair.”
“That’s a hallmark of Trump, to comment on somebody, your opponent’s appearance,” she continued. “It’s not something that I would ever expect to come from the Obama White House. I’m just curious. This was in your prepared remarks. What was the thinking behind it?”
Rather than brush it off as a cheap shot, Earnest justified the joke: “I guess I was describing why it would be easy for people to dismiss the Trump campaign as not particularly serious.”
“Because of his hair?” Liasson pressed.
Earnest again doubled down. “Because he’s got a rather outrageous appearance, and — ”
“But isn’t that the kind of thing [Trump] does to people and that’s considered so out of line, when he talks about people’s appearances?” Liasson replied.
“That’s a hallmark of his campaign and his identity, though,” Earnest said. “That’s the point that I’m trying to cite here.”
A couple of points worth noting: First, Trump’s hair, like it or not, is real, as he demonstrated at a rally when he asked an audience member to come up and tug on it. Second, snarky comments are as much a hallmark of this presidency as Trump’s hair is of his campaign.
This report, by Rachel Stoltzfoos, Casey Harper, Michael Bastasch, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.