President Trump can’t stop hugging the flag.
Trump ended his speech at the National Federation of International Business last week by walking to the side of the stage and wrapping his arms around the American flag, pressing it to his face and body.
“We’re doing well as a country,” he said before the embrace.
Here’s Trump hugging the flag for some reason pic.twitter.com/Ylgyr54R0m
— VICE News (@vicenews) June 19, 2018
Trump had just finished delivering a speech railing against illegal immigration, in which he blamed Democrats for his own “zero-tolerance” immigration policy, which caused more than 2,300 children were separated from their parents with no plan for them to be reunited.
“We want a great country. We want a country with heart,” he said. “But when people come up, they have to know they’re not going to get in. Otherwise it will never stop.”
During his speech, he also accused Canadians of shoe smuggling because of high tariffs.
It’s not the first time Trump has hugged the flag. In fact, it threatens to become a shtick. On the campaign trail, Trump hugged flags at a town hall event in New Hampshire and a rally in Florida.
The U.S. Flag Code doesn’t explicitly forbid hugging the flag. Although two clauses provide some ambiguity: “The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything” and “The flag should never touch anything beneath it.”
But a good portion of Twitter found the president’s actions, and the words before it, disrespectful. One Utah woman was moved to write a letter to the editor. “Personally, I don’t find a kneeling Colin Kaepernick nearly as offensive as what I witnessed as I observed America’s Dear Leader, in a maudlin public display of faux patriotism, physically embrace the American flag,” wrote Jill Haslam in “The Salt Lake Tribune.” “This act, no doubt premeditated and intended to appeal to his nationalist base, was done while policies implemented under his direction caused unnecessary and incomprehensible anguish on our southern border.”