Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gave Tuesday what his campaign billed as a policy speech at a recycling plant in western Pennsylvania. Behind the New York businessman’s podium loomed a pile of crushed aluminum cans.
With the event open only to credentialed media but televised on cable networks, journalists quickly took note of the jarring backdrop at the Alumisource plant south of Pittsburgh, newsworthy in its own right as a distracting visual.
“Overheard at the Trump speech site: ‘I need to go get a shot of the garbage,’” tweeted Yahoo News national correspondent Holly Bailey.
“Just turned on the TV: Is Trump giving this speech inside a giant trash compactor?” wondered Nevada political journalist Jon Ralston.
The backdrop was just as quickly mocked by pundits across the political spectrum.
“[I]s that a pile of trash behind trump? who staged this?” tweeted Oliver Willis, a research fellow at the liberal group Media Matters for America.
“Donald Trump finally transcends metaphor, satire, and all else by doing speech in front of giant pile of trash,” quipped the Twitter account for GIF the News.
“If this speech ends with Trump being absorbed into the wall of trash, I won’t even be surprised,” tweeted Brooke Rogers of National Review and Heat Street.
And from libertarian Peter Suderman, a senior editor for Reason.com: “At the RNC next month, Trump will accept the GOP nomination while standing in front of a stage set with decorative garbage fires.”