Donald Trump's Teleprompter Problems Have Former President Singing Same Tired Tune

Now that Donald Trump's guilty verdict has come in for his hush money trial in New York, he doesn't have to be in court every day. With his current free time, he's been able to traveling the country again, campaigning for president. However, at a recent rally in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 9, 2024, a teleprompter glitch brought up some familiar themes for the presidential hopeful: His hatred of sharks, how smart he thinks he is, and that he doesn't always pay the people who work for him.

As the teleprompter was malfunctioning, Trump went off-script as he started to rant about electric boats and shark attacks. Or at least we assume it was off-script considering how disjointed it seemed for a presidential candidate. As he was talking about how much he dislikes electric boats, he said he'd asked someone at a boat company, "What would happen if the boat sank, and you have this tremendously powerful battery, and the battery is now underwater and there's a shark that's approximately 10 yards over [...] Do I get electrocuted or do I jump over by the shark?" via YouTube. Trump's choice was electrocution.

Trump has long hated and feared sharks. Stormy Daniels, who testified in Trump's hush money trial, mentioned this phenomenon in a 2011 interview with InTouch. "He was like, 'I donate to all these charities and I would never donate to any charity that helps sharks. I hope all the sharks die.' He was like riveted. He was like obsessed."

Donald Trump wants people to think he's smart

Notably, Donald Trump used the shark vs. electrocution question as a way to sound smart, which seems to be something he constantly wants people to think about him. According to Trump, the boat maker that he reportedly spoke to said, "'Nobody ever asked this question.'" We don't doubt that. But then Trump explained why he thought that he came up with such a novel question: "It must be because of MIT, my relationship to MIT — very smart." Donald's MIT connection is an uncle who worked there as a professor in the electrical engineering department until he died in 1985. Trump, himself, never attended the university, but he loves to bring it up.

The former president referenced his uncle's credentials during a visit to the CDC in early 2020 as the Covid pandemic was taking off in the U.S. That was also a time when Donald seemed to be using the relationship to establish his own superior mental capacity. "[My uncle] taught at MIT for, I think, like a record number of years. He was a great super genius," via MSNBC.

Donald has dropped the g-word to describe himself as well. In 2018, he tweeted that he was "a very stable genius." This is counter to how one of Donald Trump's professors reportedly described him at college — as a particularly poor student. The repeated references to his intelligence over the years seem to show how important that perception is to him.

Donald Trump doesn't always pay his bills

Stephen King, who has long made his dislike of Donald Trump clear, posted about Trump's shark rant on X, formerly known as Twitter, saying, "This is like listening to your senile uncle at the dinner table after he has that third drink." Others on social media commented on just how bonkers Trump sounded in that moment. But it wasn't just the shark anecdote that brought up a repeated refrain at Trump's Las Vegas rally.

A number of times during his hour-long speech, Trump railed about the teleprompter not working, and at one point, he also complained about the microphone volume. Then in reference to someone on the staff, Trump said, "He just came up, 'are the teleprompters not working?' Not even a little bit. Great job. And then I don't pay the company that does it, right? And then I end up with a story, 'Trump doesn't pay.' I don't pay contractors that do a s****y job," via YouTube. He went on to say, "When I have a good contractor, a subcontractor, nobody gets paid faster."

Trump seemed well aware of the fact that hundreds of people over the years have accused him of not paying them what they were owed. Lawsuits have been filed against Trump by all kinds of former employees, from plumbers to lawyers. No word yet from the teleprompter company from Las Vegas about whether they got paid.