On Tuesday, NBC News reported that the Trump administration was preparing an effort to end the criminalization of homosexuality in more than a dozen nations, including strategic trading partners like Saudi Arabia, Russia's Chechnya territory, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
Being gay is a crime in 72 countries and is subject to the death penalty in eight.
But when pressed about it on Wednesday, President Donald Trump appeared unaware of his administration's plan.
REPORTER: "Mr. President, on your push to decriminalize homosexuality, are you doing that? And why?" the reporter asked the president.
TRUMP: "Say it?"
REPORTER: "Your push to decriminalize homosexuality across the world."
Trump was clueless.
"I don't know which report you're talking about," the president replied. "We have many reports. Anybody else?"
Watch the awkward exchange below:
REPORTER: Mr President, on your push to decriminalize homosexuality, are you doing that? And why? TRUMP: Say it?… https://t.co/OKAlD8FNVX— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1550700370.0
US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell is spearheading the effort, which began in Berlin on Tuesday. Grenell is the highest-ranking openly gay member of the Trump administration.
Earlier this month, Grenell condemned the execution as “a wake-up call for anyone who supports basic human rights."
“This is not the first time the Iranian regime has put a gay man to death with the usual outrageous claims of prostitution, kidnapping, or even pedophilia. And it sadly won’t be the last time,” Grenell wrote in Germany's Bild Magazine. “Barbaric public executions are all too common in a country where consensual homosexual relationships are criminalized and punishable by flogging and death."
In his Bild editorial, Grenell credited his Christian upbringing with teaching him that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity, no matter how they are born.
“While a student at Evangel University, a Christian liberal arts college in Missouri, I was taught by biblical scholars that all truth is God’s truth, no matter where it is found. The truth for LGBT people is that we were born gay,” Grenell wrote. “People can disagree philosophically about homosexuality, but no person should ever be subject to criminal penalties because they are gay.”
Trump's detachment from his own policies is not a good look.
@kylegriffin1 @gabeschoenfeld No clue what is going on— Jennifer Rubin (@Jennifer Rubin)1550706629.0
@atrupar Ahahahahaha his brain is crumbling like a wet layer cake— zipline thread appreciator (@zipline thread appreciator)1550731087.0
@atrupar Does he even have a clue what his own government is doing or does he only pay attention to things that dir… https://t.co/Nx4DoAxeeP— Khashoggi’s Ghost (@Khashoggi’s Ghost)1550701568.0
@atrupar The man hasn't a clue what is going on in his own administration and he looks like he just woke up from a nap.— Theresa Gill (@Theresa Gill)1550700840.0
@atrupar jesus he looks like Kramer as a roasted turkey— Adam Swinson (@Adam Swinson)1550700709.0
Trump had a chance to step up and be a leader.
He blew it.
@atrupar he gets a chance to speak positively towards a topic he and his party are usually awful with and just swin… https://t.co/T6SzpUr24u— Ron Scissors (@Ron Scissors)1550701245.0
@atrupar He really has no clue what his administration is actually doing. Kinda proves he doesn't make these polici… https://t.co/5yAEoGkIQA— Phil (@Phil)1550700643.0
@atrupar He’s purposefully deflecting. Where’s the follow-up? We are in a hole here because the media refuses to c… https://t.co/I3iqiasYpx— FuckItWe’llDoItLive! (@FuckItWe’llDoItLive!)1550705498.0
@atrupar FFS Biff doesn't know what's going on around him.— Planet Belfast 🇪🇺🏳️🌈🕷️ (@Planet Belfast 🇪🇺🏳️🌈🕷️)1550700865.0
Maybe Fox News should have covered the story?
@atrupar @AdamWeinstein In his defense, this was reported on .@NBC, which he doesn't watch. If aides want him to be… https://t.co/d4UcZWBpxO— President “I Caught the Swamp, I Caught Them All” (@President “I Caught the Swamp, I Caught Them All”)1550700595.0
@atrupar @MrJonCryer Nice to see he’s up to speed. Was this not reported on Fox??— Casper Allan (@Casper Allan)1550702970.0
"Narrowly focused on criminalization, rather than broader LGBT issues like same-sex marriage," NBC wrote, "the campaign was conceived partly in response to the recent reported execution by hanging of a young gay man in Iran, the Trump administration’s top geopolitical foe."