During a speech in Florida on Tuesday evening, President Trump indicated he has no clue how people buy groceries.
While making a case for a nationwide voter ID law, Trump said, “You know, if you go out and you want to buy groceries, you need a picture on a card — you need ID.”
But as anybody who has been to a grocery store knows, you do not actually have to present a photo ID to buy groceries. Customers can use cash. And in many cases, even if they use a card, they will not be asked to show photo identification.
During the White House press briefing on Wednesday, ABC’s Cecilia Vega asked Press Secretary Sarah Sanders to explain Trump’s comments.
“When was the last time the president went to the grocery store?” Vega asked.
Sanders tried to move on as quickly as possible.
“I’m not sure — I’m not sure why that matters either,” she said.
“Well, because of what he said last night,” Vega followed up. “You go the grocery store, I go to the grocery store — I’ve never had to show an ID when I got to buy groceries.”
In an effort to defend Trump, Sanders resorted to putting words in his mouth, and ended up defending a statement completely different from what he actually said.
“Certainly if you go to a grocery store and you buy beer and wine, you’re certainly going to show your ID,” Sanders said — despite the fact that the words “beer” or “wine” were never uttered by Trump.
“Is that what the president who doesn’t drink meant?” Vega asked.
“He’s not saying every time he went in — he said when you go to the grocery store, I’m pretty sure that everybody in here who has been to a grocery store that has purchased beer or wine has had to show their ID,” Sanders said. “If they didn’t, then that’s probably a problem with the grocery store.”
Sanders’ comments are the latest instance of the White House simply refusing to acknowledge that Trump is capable of misspeaking. Perhaps most memorably, after Trump posted a tweet with an obvious typo in May 2017, then-Press Secretary Sean Spicer suggested that “covfefe” wasn’t a typo after all.
“The president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant,” Spicer said.
When Trump posted a Fox News-inspired tweet that contradicted the White House’s official position on a bill reauthorizing the the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) earlier this year, Sanders flatly denied that Trump’s tweets were contradictory, and attacked reporters who asked about it.
“I think that the premise of your question is completely ridiculous and shows the lack of knowledge that you have on this process,” Sanders said, in response to a question about the apparent contradiction from NBC’s Hallie Jackson.
And while Trump’s absurd comment about groceries may not seem like much, it’s worth noting that Preisdent George H.W. Bush was widely mocked in 1992 when he visited a grocery store during his reelection campaign and appeared unfamiliar with how supermarket scanners work.