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?
REPORTER: Your push to decriminalize homosexuality across the world.
TRUMP: I don't know which report you're talking about. We have many reports. Anybody else? pic.twitter.com/3eGVvMVXFt
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 20, 2019
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.
No clue what is going on
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) February 20, 2019
Ahahahahaha his brain is crumbling like a wet layer cake
— Tamagotchi Tower (@Dick_Archer) February 21, 2019
Does he even have a clue what his own government is doing or does he only pay attention to things that directly affect him personally?
— Khashoggi’s Ghost (@UROCKlive1) February 20, 2019
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 (@tgm1956) February 20, 2019
jesus he looks like Kramer as a roasted turkey
— Adam Swinson (@AdamSwinson) February 20, 2019
Trump had a chance to step up and be a leader.