Photojournalist Catches the Truth Behind Trump’s TelePrompter Flub

Photojournalist Catches the Truth Behind Trump’s TelePrompter Flub

President Trump stepped up to the podium last Monday to read prepared remarks about the shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas. Except that in the final blessings of the speech, he named Toledo instead of Dayton, a different city about 150 miles away.

While many in the media were quick to blame a staffer or a teleprompter error, as is often the case, it took a photojournalist to provide a definite answer. Leah Millis, a photographer for Reuters, tweeted out a photo that clearly showed the president’s teleprompter during the part of the speech in question:

In the text, the words “Texas and Ohio” are clearly visible with Toledo nowhere to be found.

The White House, in what seemed to be a moment of self-awareness, did make a note of the error, which seemed to be entirely on Trump, via a strikethrough in the official transcript that was released to the media later on Monday.

It’s unclear if that would have been the case if the Millis photo had not been widely circulated after the statement.

This isn’t the first time Trump has been held to account by eagle-eyed photographers. Washington Post photographer Jabin Botsford has previously captured Trump’s notes about Ilhan Omar and some really egregious spelling errors in remarks about democrats in the past.

It’s a bit of a sad commentary on photojournalism today when photographers have to worry equally about capturing the moment and surreptitiously capturing the president’s notes at the same time, just to make sure that they can prove their case if the president attempts to label their reportage as “fake news.”

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Previous comments

Jesus Christ enough with these articles! You just cant help yourself, can you?

user-248633's picture

Wasim Ahmad is just demonstrating his TDS

Marc Perino's picture

I thought it was interesting. 🤷‍♂️

Not nearly as interesting as some of the comments! :-)

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

Lol, sounds like you're trying to make this honest mistake an excuse to dispel all the fake news. Just another Fredo.

Michael Aubrey's picture

What's the fake bit?

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

Seriously? Either you're being coy, turned a blind eye, or really don't know. If the latter, maybe you shouldn't be commenting until you read up on some stuff. Good idea?

Matt Williams's picture

Everything they decide not to believe is "fake news."

Anyone who uses that term can be written off on the spot.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

Because the majority of them are fake news. You can't seriously believe the likes of CNN haven't been caught (or have admitted) they made up stories against the Pres. They (media) brought the label "fake news" and doubt upon themselves.

Matt Williams's picture

Trump makes about 12 false claims PER DAY.

"Fake news" is a term that was created to instill fear into people (see also: calling the media "the enemy of the people") and allow them to ignore anything they don't want to believe. It's a pretty common tactic among dictators and would-be tyrants. If you can write off anything you don't like as "fake news," then you can say pretty much whatever you want. Like that windmills cause cancer - or that you didn't say something even if it's on video.

First paragraph: not even possible.

Second paragraph: plausible, in theory, but when some in the media just make stuff up, how do you defend yourself from it? You have to know some of them are just lying. Sure he overreacts sometimes but look at your own comment; dictator? Tyrant? C'mon!

Matt Williams's picture

It is very possible. These are tracked by non-partisan sources. This article is WaPo but the data is not from them.

Being prone to give people the benefit of the doubt (sometimes...), I classify untruths as hyperbole (including ad hominem attacks), error and lying. I don't think of exaggeration or just being wrong as lying, reserving that word for intentional untrue statements for malicious purposes. Without going through the list, I don't think there are many statements in that category. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Matt Williams's picture

wow, ok. I get giving the benefit of the doubt, but eventually people go beyond deserving such a benefit when they lie on a daily basis. It isn't just slip of the tongue stuff. If you can't see that, then well, that's that I guess.

In the end, it really isn't important. I can't imagine you will agree but, in my opinion, it's a tie between Obama and Carter as to who was the worst President in my lifetime – I'm 60-ish ;-) – but I never thought about them or the things they did beyond the moment. I have much larger problems than any President can cause or cure. I suspect the same is true of most people. Presidents really don't have as much power as most people think.

Matt Williams's picture

It is INCREDIBLY important. We used to THINK Presidents didn't have much power, but Trump has laid that idea to bed by doing things directly against the constitution, obstructing a federal investigation, and things everyone simply thought a president would never do, so there was nothing in place to stop it. He's emboldened white nationalists, expanded ICE, is now targeting LEGAL immigrants, and is leading us into another recession. That's a few of the hundreds, if not thousands, of major things he has done (or in some cases, not done). The Democrats' refusal to impeach is shameful and just goes to show that you can do whatever you want without repercussions if you're the president.

And yes, I do not agree about Carter or Obama. Aside from Trump, the worst President of your lifetime was either Reagan or GW Bush. I'm more inclined to go with Reagan because his presidency is where the Republican party pivoted toward what they are today, and he set us on a disaster course with trickle down economics, drug war, etc, etc. But I would take any President from the last 80+ years over Trump, no question about it.

Anyway, that's all I'll say about that topic.

Since you don't want to continue, I won't either but I appreciate your delivery. :-)

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

Holy hell, you have things so twisted it's not even funny. Sounds like you're just parroting what you want to believe.

Yet another "orange man bad".

Michael Aubrey's picture

Well, in all fairness...writing "orange man good" articles are much more difficult to pull off.

And if this article were written during Obama's term, about Obama, it would be labeled as racist and the author would be immediately relieved of their job. Sad, but true.

So what? Everyone, and I mean everyone flubs on place names, relatives names, friends wives names, forgets birthdays, loses their keys and forgets to lock doors. What troubles me far more than the President misnaming a city is that this Wasim is a multimedia journalist instructor. Fake news, fake outrage, fake conclusions and fake posting to a photography site. I feel sorry for his students, let's hope he is a much better photographer than he is a journalist.

Except not everyone declares themselves a "stable genius" nor does everyone make the claim to know more about everything than everyone else. He invites the criticism because of his foolish, arrogant and obviously untrue statements that aren't being made coyly as hyperbole but rather as serious statements of fact.

Actually, most people make similar claims but usually in private. Trump doesn't have a "Maybe I shouldn't say this in public" filter. It's not always a good thing but, I'm pretty sure he's EASILY the most transparent president in history!

Actually, how would you know that "most people say these things privately"? Thats an oxymoron. The fact that YOU assume so says a lot about why you're looking to make excuses for the immoral reprobate in the white house.

Hmm. Someone doesn't know what the word "transparency" means in terms of government. You think he's transparent because he's rude, obnoxious and a braggart outwardly? SMH.

I can see how it would sound like an oxymoron but in fact, it's just like a poll. Over the course of several decades, I've known hundreds, if not thousands, of people and they talk. When I say "in private", I mean among friends or close acquaintances. Most of the people I've known say things like that in such circumstances and, like a poll, I've extrapolated it to the population at large.

The fact that *I* (since "I" is already capitalized, asterisks were the only way to emphasize the word) make such an observation and resulting conclusion, says I'm observant. I make no excuses for anyone but I DO try to give people the benefit of the doubt. For example, I've never accused anyone of being an "immoral reprobate" and, further, make no presumptions about your character for having done so.

I have the same decades of experience regarding what "transparency" means, whether in terms of government or any other use of the word. The fact that he can be rude, obnoxious and a braggart at times, and I don't deny the charges, actually is indicative of someone who's transparent. He's clearly not stupid and knows people don't like those attributes. It's not that I think he's conscientiously trying to be transparent; I don't think he has it in him to obfuscate! Again, he doesn't have a filter between his mind and his mouth.

Having taken so much of your time and in appreciation for the thoughtfulness and forbearance of your reply, please allow me to return the favor by staying as far away from Boca Raton as possible. I can see I wouldn't be as tolerated there as you've been thus far. :-/

user-248633's picture

I totally agree

Yeah? Well, what camera, lens, iso, shutter speed and F/stop did he use in the shot?

PS- Who knows more about who is a "white supremacist," the Democrat contenders or this woman?

user-248633's picture

This site has jumped the shark

Funny thing is Biden messed up in his reference to the same incidents too. He talked about shootings in Houston (?) and Michigan(?) instead of El Paso and Dayton.

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