News & Politics

White House Blames 'Pastries and Cheese' for John Kelly's Pained Expression at Summit — Not Trump's Galling Attacks on Allies

It's not even clear the statement was supposed to be taken seriously.

Photo Credit: Washington Post YouTube video

As President Donald Trump lashed out at German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a NATO summit breakfast on Wednesday, White House chief of staff John Kelly sat with a pained expression on his face — an expression many read as disapproval at the president's attacks.

"Germany is a captive of Russia," said Trump, citing the fact that Germany relies on Russia for its energy supply. "It's very inappropriate. ... It certainly doesn't seem to make sense that they paid billions of dollars to Russia, and now we have to defend them against Russia." 

All the while, Kelly fidgeted in his chair, looked away from Trump, looked down at the ground, and pursed his lips.

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In a statement to the Washington Post, press secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed that Kelly was "displeased" — but she denied that it was for the reason people assumed.

He "was displeased because he was expecting a full breakfast and there were only pastries and cheese," Sanders said.

The statement was so preposterous it's not even clear she actually expected anyone to believe it. Like so much of this presidency and Republican Party politics these days, it seems more like an attempt to troll the media and the administration's critics than an attempt to actually engage in a genuine public relations effort.

Watch the Washington Post's clip of the breakfast below:

Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.