BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. (AP) – Donald Trump routinely mocks his rivals for using teleprompters, but the presumptive Republican presidential nominee relied on the much-maligned political crutch Tuesday night for his closely watched speech at the end of the Republican primary calendar.
A pair of teleprompters flanked the podium at the Trump National Golf Club in suburban New York City, and the celebrity businessman appeared to be reading from them as he delivered a speech that featured far less of his trademark bluster.
It wasn’t the first time Trump has read from the devices – he used them, for instance, when speaking to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in March – but his reliance on them Tuesday prompted the word “teleprompter” to trend on Twitter and flew in the face of his usual criticism of them.
“I don’t use teleprompters,” he said in January, criticizing Hillary Clinton for using one. “Wouldn’t that be easy, teleprompters? I watched Hillary the other day and she has the biggest teleprompters I’ve ever seen. In fact, if you’re sitting on that side of the room or that side of the room you can’t see her because when they are outside, they are painted black and you can’t even see her.”
Months earlier, he even proclaimed that “if you run for president, you shouldn’t be allowed to use teleprompters. Because you don’t even know if the guy’s smart.”
Trump doesn’t use the devices at this hallmark rallies but sometimes delivers an amusing impersonation of their use, pretending to move his head back and forth to read from devices on either side of the stage.