President Donald Trump frequently interrupted briefings to satisfy his preoccupation with badgers when Wisconsin native Reince Priebus was his White House chief of staff.
According to the new book “Sinking In The Swamp,” the president peppered Priebus with questions about Wisconsin’s state animal during briefings about foreign and domestic policy, reported Business Insider.
“After Trump was reminded that the short-legged omnivore was practically synonymous with the Badger State, he’d make a point of bringing it up at seemingly random occasions to his beleaguered chief of staff,” wrote authors Lachlan Markay and Asawin Suebsaeng.
“‘Are they mean to people?’ Trump at least twice asked Priebus in the opening months of his presidency,” the authors wrote. “‘Or are they friendly creatures?’ The president would also ask if Priebus had any photos of badgers he could show him, and if Priebus could carefully explain to him how badgers ‘work’ exactly.”
Trump was obsessed with Wisconsin’s association with badgers, and he often asked Priebus to explain how the short-legged mammals behaved, what they ate and whether they were dangerous.
“Trump also wanted to know if the badger had a ‘personality’ or if it was boring,” the authors wrote. “What kind of damage could a badger to do a person with its flashy, sharp claws?”
“An obviously enthralled president would stare at Priebus as the aide struggled for sufficiently placating answers,” they added, “all the while trying to gently veer the conversation back to whether we were going to do a troop surge in Afghanistan or strip millions of Americans of healthcare coverage.”