Donald Trump makes jarring appearance at today’s White House press briefing

One day after it was revealed that most of his own staffers think he’s an idiot, and that one of his top former advisers has accused him of committing treason, Donald Trump showed up at today’s White House press briefing – sort of. Trump appeared in a pre-taped message on a video screen behind Sarah Huckabee Sanders, looking and sounding like hell, and raising questions about what on earth was even going on.

Trump, as it turns out, was only plugging his tax scam. He could barely get through the message, sounding weak and uninterested. For unknown reasons, he kept his right eye nearly closed the entire time. Do his face muscles not work anymore? Is this related to the manner in which he was slurring his words during one of his more recent public appearances? The video only served to make things even worse for him.

From the look of things, Trump was in the White House when he filmed the video. Why didn’t he just walk into the briefing room and make the same statement? It’s entirely possible that he was trying to avoid questions about Steve Bannon’s “treason” accusations and the related book. But considering the visibly and audibly poor condition Trump was in throughout the video, this has left a number of observers on social media asking if he’s also being sheltered like this because his physical and mental health are collapsing.

In fairness, Donald Trump’s condition during his pre-taped video today wasn’t as jarring as, say, the worst we’ve seen from Ben Carson. But it was nonetheless jarring. The truly odd part is that Trump’s staff was willing to play the disturbing video of him at all. It only made things worse. Perhaps Trump demanded to speak to reporters today, and his nervous staff settled on the video as a compromise. In any case, he’s declining by the hour.

Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report