President Donald Trump in recent weeks has taken to making videos of himself talking about his policies in the White House Rose Garden and then posting them to his Twitter account.
The videos, which feature only the president talking for around 30 seconds, have generally drawn ridicule from across the web — and Princeton historian Kevin Kruse has even compared the videos to advertisements run by used car salesmen.
It’s no accident that his tone of voice and body language are that of a man asking what he has to do to get you behind the wheel of this fabulous, pre-owned 1998 Nissan Maxima. https://t.co/yA1o5ZZPSD
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) August 18, 2018
New York Magazine’s Olivia Nuzzi recently spoke with several current and former Trump administration officials and Trump associates who told her that the president enjoys making these videos because they give him a quick boost to his self-esteem.
“The purpose of this on-camera exercise is simple: It makes him feel (and, he believes, look) good,” Nuzzi reports.
One former official tells Nuzzi that Trump likes making the videos because the lighting around the Rose Garden gives him a softer touch and makes him look less overtly angry than he often appears when he sees himself on television.
“He was transposing his anger with the way the media was portraying what he was doing against lighting and everything like that,” the former Trump official explained. “He wouldn’t be able to sit there and be like, ‘The media is pissed off at me because I’ve been doing a bunch of crazy shit that falls way outside the norms of political discourse and political behavior in this country.’ He can’t really say that. That requires the ability to have some self reflection. So instead he blames things like the lighting.”