President Donald trump held a semi-impromptu ceremony at the White House on June 5, dubbed the "Celebration of America." At one point during the festivities one of the most popular U.S. patriotic anthems was performed by the U.S. Marine Band and Army Chorus, but the president looked like he was having a bit of trouble with the words. This video of Donald Trump singing "God Bless America" is so hard to watch — and yet, I can't look away.
The "Celebration of America" was orchestrated by the Trump administration and took place on the White House South Lawn in the afternoon on June 5. According to ABC News, the president showed up for the celebration for only about seven minutes. The abrupt move to host the event came after Trump's decided to disinvite the Philadelphia Eagles football team on from their customary White House visit following their Super Bowl victory in February. The June 4 decision came after it was reported that many members from the Eagles decided to not attend the White House visit due to their differing views on whether it's appropriate to kneel during the national anthem. The visit was scheduled for June 5, but was cancelled just a day before.
Trump's "Celebration of America" was created in place of that Eagles White House visit. At the celebration, Trump stated,
I want to take this opportunity to explain why young Americans stand for our national anthem. Maybe it’s about time that we understood. We stand to honor our military and to honor our country, and to remember the fallen heroes who never made it back home.
Clearly, Trump's remarks prove that he is passionate about the national anthem and about patriotism. It's the reason why Trump says he held the "Celebration of America." But in a video from the event, Trump did not appear as enthusiastic while singing "God Bless America" along with the U.S. Marine Band and Army Chorus. In fact, he looked downright awkward.
In the video from CBS News, Trump seemingly fumbles the song lyrics and at points stops singing altogether. And as you may have guessed, watching this is seriously cringeworthy.
Hey Donald, don't forget when you don't know the words to something, just mouth "watermelon, cantaloupe" over and over. It'll fool everyone.
At an event that celebrates patriotism, you would think that the president would want to know all of the words to one of the most popular and widely-known about the United States. So this moment from the "Celebration of America" is hilariously ironic.
On June 4, Trump released a statement via the White House Press Secretary announcing that the Eagles would not be welcome for their scheduled June 5 visit. The statement read, in part,
The Philadelphia Eagles are unable to come to the White House with their full team to be celebrated tomorrow. They disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country. The Eagles wanted to send a smaller delegation, but the 1,000 fans planning to attend the event deserve better.
Basically, Trump is saying that because not enough players from the Eagles wanted to come visit, he decided that none of the Eagles should bother coming. Trump used kneeling during the national anthem during last year's football season as an excuse for uninviting the team. But as Torrey Smith, a Eagles player, points out via Twitter, none of the Eagles players knelt during the national anthem any of their games. Not a single player.
Smith also criticized Trump for his decision via Twitter after the president announced the cancellation of the Eagles' visit. He wrote,
The men and women that wanted to go should’ve been able to go. It’s a cowardly act to cancel the celebration because the majority of the people don’t want to see you. To make it about the anthem is foolish
Trump may have his excuses for disinviting the Eagles, but I wonder what his excuse is for seemingly not knowing the words to "God Bless America." C'mon, Donald. That's what Google is for.