OPED: The doggone truth on Trump

Ann Mcfeatters
Tribune News Service


WASHINGTON — Remember how we speculated about what kind of dog Donald Trump would get when he moved into the White House? He never did get one. And now we know why. He hates dogs!

The last president not to have had a dog was William McKinley, who died of gangrene in office after a year following an assassination attempt.

Instead of having dogs, which tend to crave attention and often are scene stealers where photography is involved, Trump frequently calls women he disdains “a dog.”

In case you haven’t been following the news (it’s OK if you’ve been in a coma, were stranded in the Pacific on a sailboat or were picking up a child from summer camp), the president of the United States just called a woman whom he has been friends with for 15 years and has hired numerous times — most recently at taxpayer expense of $179,700 a year — “that dog.”

He did not mean it as a compliment.

Trump hired Omarosa, now Omarosa Manigault-Newman, whom he had hired/fired/hired/fired/hired/fired on his TV reality show “The Apprentice,” to be on his presidential campaign and then to be the White House chief of communications for public liaison. She was supposed to make black Americans like Trump, but nobody could figure out what she was doing except publicly praising the boss.

When Chief of Staff John Kelly fired her in the super-secret White House situation room (a firing she used her smart phone to tape), Trump told her that he did not love it that she had been fired and that he didn’t know about it.

Trump stressed that Omarosa had always said GREAT things about him. Then the debased doyenne of reality TV put out a book, “Unhinged,” about Trump in the White House. She did not mean the title as a compliment.

When she disclosed she had taped the president, the chief of staff and others in the White House, Trump got even angrier and tweeted that she was not only a “low life” with a low IQ and a “loser” but also — apparently, his worst epithet for women he dislikes — that “dog.” People have called him sexist and racist for this but, in fairness, he frequently disdains men who criticize him as looking like, sweating like, smelling like or otherwise behaving like dogs – former FBI director James Comey, Sen. Marco Rubio, deep state strategist Steve Bannon, journalist David Gregory and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney. But, notably, most men who criticize Trump get their security clearances revoked.

The obvious question is how Trump knows how dogs behave when he doesn’t have one. (His first wife, Ivana, had a dog Chappy, who loathed Trump and was loathed in return and was rarely under the same roof.)

NBC searched its extensive file footage and could find only one dog-friendly photo of Trump. He was (some would say, awkwardly) patting a Westminster winner at his desk. The dog looked puzzled, although not particularly antagonistic.

After Omarosa was fired, she equated working at the White House to working as a slave on a plantation and claimed Trump had prior knowledge of the hacking of Democratic emails — a crime if true.

Since her firing, the White House won’t respond when asked if any other African-Americans have an office in the West Wing. So much for the appearance of diversity coming on the heels of the one-year anniversary of Charlottesville when Trump equated the morals of racist white supremacists with those of civil rights protesters.

“We would love to have diversity our staff and continue to do so,” said Sarah Sanders, who speaks, not very eloquently, for the White House.

But it is the lack of a canine in the Oval that is gripping our attention at the moment. No bow wow. Wow! This actually might be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Or at least, it’s a little tidbit that convinced a few more Americans that Trump is, well, kind of weird.

Luckiest creature in America today? The goldendoodle who was supposed to go to the White House as “Trump’s dog.” But, we were told, it “just didn’t work out.” (The owner had second thoughts.)

So Trump is the first president since 1901 to have no dog or pet of any sort in the White House. And, said Trump, that’s just fine with him.

— Ann McFeatters is an op-ed columnist for Tribune News Service. Readers may send her email at amcfeatters@nationalpress.com.