Donald Trump trashes his teleprompters at Charlotte rally
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Donald Trump earlier this week said the “shackles” have been taken off his campaign — and on Friday, he cast aside one of the foremost symbols of a disciplined presidential bid: his teleprompters.
Reverting back to the days of his insurgent bid for the Republican nomination, he knocked over the teleprompters beside him on stage and went back to his off-the-cuff style.
“These teleprompters haven’t been working for 20 minutes. And I actually like my speeches without the teleprompters,” Trump said before grabbing one of the stands holding up the teleprompter panel to his right, which had toppled over.
“Get this thing out of here!” he shouted.
Moments later, both teleprompters were gone from the stage of the candidate who had long resisted delivering speeches off a teleprompter before giving in two months ago. Since mid-August, Trump has delivered every rally speech with teleprompters on stage.
“I like teleprompters. They’re fine. But it’s sort of cooler without it, don’t you think? I like it better without,” Trump said Friday, later adding he was having “so much fun without these damn teleprompters!”
The Republican nominee’s decision was his second act of rebellion on Friday, a day Trump spent mostly fuming about allegations of groping and unwanted kissing that are threatening to destroy his campaign.
During an earlier rally, Trump dismissed his campaign advisers’ wishes for him to talk about economic issues and not address the sexual assault and misconduct allegations he is facing — and then he did just that.
His campaign manager Kellyanne Conway laughed off the teleprompters incident on Friday.
“You know we let Trump be Trump,” she said. “It’s the end of teleprompters for tonight.”
Asked if Trump would be back on the teleprompters at his next rally, Conway muttered “who knows” before offering a tongue-in-cheek comment:
“He’s always on message, don’t you think?”
Conway declined to say whether she was bothered by Trump continuing to focus on the sexual assault allegations plaguing his campaign, but noted that Trump said Friday evening he wanted to talk less about the allegations.
“I’m glad he’s here talking to voters because one candidate should be,” Conway said in a shot at Trump’s rival, Hillary Clinton, who has had a light campaign schedule this week.
But confronted with the fact that Trump spent much of Friday talking about the allegations against him, Conway shrugged off the question and walked away from the group of reporters questioning her.