Update (12:45pmET): As it turns out, today's Rose Garden gathering had nothing to do with any of the major issues of the day. Instead, Trump staged a photo op with Conan, the special ops canine commando who, according to the US government, was wounded in the al-Baghdadi raid.
Imagine if he comes out at this surprise Rose Garden press event & says "I know you thought the Turkey Pardon was supposed to be tomorrow but I want a sandwich now" and then just shoots them both— EK (@EllenKilloran) November 25, 2019
Trump jokingly warned reporters not to open their mouths since Conan is "trained to attack" - a joke that will undoubtedly be interpreted as a flagrant assault on the free press by the good journalists of the NYT and WaPo. Trump said he met with the special forces soldiers involved in the raid earlier on Monday, and bestowed Conan with an award for his bravery. The dog was given a medal and a plaque.
Both Conan and the soldiers did a fantastic job, Trump said, adding that the dog is "so brilliant and so smart."
Interestingly, while Pence scratched his head, Trump didn't pet or touch Conan. When asked if he'd like to pet the dog, he ignored the question.
The presser was pretty much a non-event. But, hey, a reporter can dream, right?
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Since the beginning of the year, we've noticed an increase in unscheduled, ad hoc press events in the Rose Garden where President Trump addresses the media about an important issue of the day.
The press has been advised to remain calm, though White House reporters were summoned without being given any information about the event.
CNBC's Eamon Javers also reported that the event will feature "an animal," possibly a reference to the annual pardoning of the Turkey at the White House (which usually doesn't take place until Thanksgiving day).
The White House is gathering reporters in the Rose Garden for an unscheduled event. No details about what we’re about to see, but it seems like we will hear from POTUS shortly. Stand by.— Eamon Javers (@EamonJavers) November 25, 2019
We are told there will be “an animal” at this event. Press is advised to remain calm.— Eamon Javers (@EamonJavers) November 25, 2019
White House press corps has been suddenly called for a previously unscheduled open press event in the Rose Garden— Sara Cook (@saraecook) November 25, 2019
To 🚨 or not to 🚨?— Niall Stanage (@NiallStanage) November 25, 2019
White House announces unscheduled "open press event." pic.twitter.com/xDrr5sq1Sj
There are a number of issues that the president could address, from a potential presidential intervention to stop a Navy SEAL accused of posing with a dead ISIS prisoner from being kicked out of the elite unit, to the abrupt departure of Navy Secretary Richard Spencer that this controversy allegedly elicited, to the ongoing impeachment drama.
Or perhaps he intends to brag about today's fresh record highs in the market, which he tweeted about a few hours ago.
Another new Stock Market Record. Enjoy!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 25, 2019
Whatever it is, we'll know soon enough.