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Did Donald Trump Really Think Coming After Chrissy Teigen Would Go Well for Him?

Filthy mouthed wives unite!

Chrissy Teigen poses in a suit.

This weekend, Dateline aired an hour-long special in which Lester Holt did a deep dive into the American prison system. He spent two nights sleeping in a cell–”not to play prisoner,” he said, “but to better understand the purpose and experience of prison.” He talked to prisoners, guards, advocates, and more people who see the inner workings of mass incarceration firsthand.

Holt also briefly spoke to musician John Legend, who launched a criminal justice reform campaign called Free America back in 2014. They talked about the issues at hand and about how people can help, not just with this specific campaign but by becoming informed voters on the local and state level.

Apparently, Donald Trump also tuned in to watch that segment and his big takeaway was to throw a tantrum that Holt and Legend didn’t mention him. Because Holt and Legend and Chrissy Teigen (who was not even on the show!) didn’t thank Trump for all he says he’s done for criminal justice reform, he was livid and lashed out on Twitter.

There’s a lot to break down here, but let’s start with the fact that, again, Chrissy Teigen wasn’t even a part of this discussion! Moreover, he doesn’t name her, while he tags everyone else. Teigen is very proud of the fact that she was blocked by Trump–she says she was blocked after tweeting “Lolllllll no one likes you” back in 2017, although it’s not clear if he unblocked her after a judge ruled that he had to–so did he not tag her because he has her blocked, or maybe because he knew that coming after Chrissy Teigen on Twitter does not tend to end well for people?

Either way, referring to her as Legend’s “filthy mouthed wife” is too depressingly on-brand for Trump.

Legend called out Trump’s extremely thin skin and need for constant praise.

He’s obviously joking but that still seems a bit naive. In what world could any amount of praise ever satisfy Trump’s ego? Also, as complicit as Melania is in Trump’s atrocities, we can’t place the burden of changing a man’s behavior on his wife–even if that wife does pretend to have dedicated her life to ending cyberbullying.

I do, however, 100% agree with Teigen’s assessment.

I really and truly hope Teigen titles her next best-selling cookbook Filthy Mouthed Wife. I would buy that so fast. And others clearly feel the same.

So while a hurricane was pummelling the east coast, Donald Trump was tweeting about a woman not giving him enough praise during a television segment she didn’t appear on. Neat.

I think we can all agree that it’s weird to criticize Teigen here, but what of his other complaints? Should Holt and Legend have given more credit to Trump during a TV segment that has nothing to do with him? Short answer: No, of course not!

A quick fact-check: Trump is constantly saying he’s done more for criminal justice reform than any other president (especially Obama–he loves to mention Obama here). He’s so proud of this fact that he makes reference to it pretty much anytime he’s talking about Black people and communities. Seriously, any time. Earlier this summer, he tweeted that NBA players should respect him more because of criminal justice reform and black unemployment rates. (That was also somehow supposed to be an argument as to why (white) soccer player Megan Rapinoe should be more respectful, just so we get the full context of how little sense any of this makes.)

What Trump means when he makes these boasts is that he signed the First Step Act into law earlier this year. It’s true that that was, in fact,
the most significant piece of criminal justice reform legislation in a long time. (Here’s a good explainer.) It was meaningful, but it was also only one step towards larger reform, something Trump definitely doesn’t appear to understand, based on him saying and tweeting things like “Criminal Justice Reform is now law,” which just doesn’t make any factual sense.

However, much of what Holt and also Legend were exploring is the issue of compassion, even for violent offenders. And that’s not something Trump understands or cares about. He’s never recanted his condemnation of the Central Park Five, even long after their exoneration. As president, he suggested police officers could be more “rough” with the people they arrest, saying “When you see these thugs thrown into the back of a paddy wagon. You see them thrown in, rough. I said, ‘Please don’t be too nice.’”

Trump wants credit for basically curing criminal justice reform, a thing that didn’t happen and isn’t really possible–not in the way he’s thinking about it. I think he takes it as a personal insult that anyone–let alone two Black men–are talking about this issue that he thinks he fixed, without crowning him the King of Criminal Justice.

That, and he’s clearly still mad that Chrissy Teigen accurately pointed out the fact that no one likes him.

(via , image: Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband Brock Wilbur and too many cats.