Ordinarily, the important parts of a press conference are its participants and their comments. But every once in a while, the location of a press conference is what stands out.
On Saturday, for example, Donald Trump’s political/legal operation announced that Rudy Giuliani would deliver remarks at the Four Seasons in Philadelphia to discuss his latest schemes. Indeed, the president tweeted to his followers, “Lawyers News Conference Four Seasons, Philadelphia. 11:00 a.m.”
To be sure, the Republican’s lawyer did, in fact, appear before the cameras and peddle some strange conspiracy theories. They were, however, easily overlooked — not just because Giuliani’s claims were foolish, but also because of the unusual venue for his nonsense.
Those who saw Trump’s tweet and assumed the former mayor would appear at an upscale hotel in Philly were mistaken. Giuliani instead spoke at Four Seasons Total Landscaping. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported:
What began five years ago with the made-for-TV announcement of Donald Trump’s presidential ambitions from the escalator of his ritzy Manhattan high-rise ended Saturday with his aging lawyer shouting conspiracy theories and vowing lawsuits in a Northeast Philadelphia parking lot, near a sex shop and a crematorium.
If it appeared in fiction, it’d be dismissed as implausible. Alas, it was all too real: Giuliani addressed reporters from a landscaping company’s parking lot, alongside Fantasy Island Adult Books and Novelties and across the street from the Delaware Valley Cremation Center.
I can only assume the writers of “Veep” were jealous they hadn’t come up with this first.
Those who assumed that the press conference would be at a hotel were reminded otherwise. “To clarify, President Trump’s news conference will NOT be held at Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia,” the hotel’s management announced on Twitter. “It will be held at Four Seasons Total Landscaping — no relation with the hotel.”
Multiple Trump staffers “could not account for” the decision, and to no one’s surprise, there’s been no public admission of responsibility.
Which is a shame, really, because this has quickly become the stuff of legend.
“Literally anywhere else would have conveyed more legitimacy on the enterprise,” a Washington Post report noted, “but legitimacy did not seem a high priority for one of the last battles of a lost war.”
Update: In case this story weren’t quite enough, Politico reported this morning, “The first person Rudy Giuliani, the attorney for President Donald Trump, called up as a witness to baseless allegations of vote counting shenanigans in Philadelphia during a press conference last week is a sex offender who for years has been a perennial candidate in New Jersey.”