The US President Donald Trump on Monday, held a very weird Cabinet meeting, where he sat quietly like a king from medieval times and each member of his Cabinet lavished praise on him like his durbaris. At the start of the cabinet meeting, Trump reviewed the ‘successes’ achieved in his first 140 days and made this weird claim: “Never has there been a president….with few exceptions…who has passed more legislation, who has done more things than I have.” It is weird because, while the US President has signed a series of executive orders, he has not really passed any major legislation through the Congress. Even his most high-profile order of the ‘travel ban’ was reportedly blocked by a court this week itself, and the ‘budget’ was laughed off as ‘magical thinking’. Since health care, tax reform and Mexican border wall are still at a stand still, Trump’s statement is quite false. But that is not the most awkward part of the first full cabinet meeting under Trump.
The White House’s Cabinet consisted of a collection of secretaries, directors and senior staff that Trump had appointed and hired to execute his America First vision. Trump began the meeting with self-appraisal, painting a rosy image of the government’s achievements and said, “We have achieved tremendous success. We have been about as active as you can possibly be at just about a record-setting pace.” The US President then asked the members to go around the table and introduce themselves before reporters were ushered out of the room. “We will start with Mike (Vice-President) and then we will just go around, your name, your position,” Trump instructed.
Vice President Mike Pence said, “It is just the greatest privilege of my life to serve as the vice president to the President who’s keeping his word to the American people and assembling a team that’s bringing real change, real prosperity, real strength back to our nation.” Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said, “I can’t thank you enough for the privileges you’ve given me and the leadership that you’ve shown.” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said, “I want to congratulate you on the men and women you’ve placed around this table.” Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said, “I want to thank you for getting this country moving again.”
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The flattery continued as each member of his cabinet took turns praising the president and there were too many of them. In the meeting, it felt like everyone was trying to hold on to their spots by effusively praising Trump, and each one took it a bit further than the previous person. And the US President sat silently in the middle of it all, totally and completely pleased with himself.