ASHBURN, Virginia — At his rally in Northern Virginia today, Donald Trump found a new foe: a baby.
After a week spent attacking Gold Star parents, Ghazala and Khizr Khan; asking Russia to hack the United States; and saying Tuesday he “always wanted to get the Purple Heart,” the Republican presidential nominee ordered a screaming infant to be removed.
Even before his rally started, security escorted protesters out of the high school auditorium where the audience had assembled. And during his speech, a group of young Muslim students protesting against Trump turned their backs on him and were then removed.
But they weren’t the youngest people to be ejected. About 30 minutes into Trump’s characteristically rambling speech, a baby in the audience started crying noisily. And at first, Trump seemed pleased, even waxing poetic about the loveliness of childhood.
“Don’t worry about that baby,” he said. “I love babies. I love babies. I hear that baby crying and I like it. I like it. What a baby, what a beautiful baby. Don’t worry, don’t worry. The mom’s running around like—don’t worry about it. You know? It’s young and beautiful and healthy and that’s what we want, OK.”
About a minute later, though, as the baby continued to caterwaul, Trump snapped out of his pro-baby reverie.
“Actually I was only kidding,” he said. “You can get the baby out of here. That’s all right. Don’t worry. I think she believed me that I love having a baby crying while I’m speaking. That’s OK. People don’t understand. That’s OK.”
Trump’s decision to boot the baby drew mixed responses from attendees. One young woman in the audience, 18-year-old Starbucks barista Christin Hensley, called Trump’s criticism of the mom “degrading.”
“I thought that was rude!” she said.
Other women in the audience thought it was funny. Jillian White, from Round Hill, said she thinks moms shouldn’t bring babies to Trump rallies.
“As a woman, come on, you don’t bring a baby to a rally of a bunch of adults,” she said.
Her friend Devin Gannaway concurred.
“When you’re in a movie theater, you don’t leave your child crying in a movie theater,” she said.
Unlike most politicians—who see babies as prime pander time—Trump appears to want to keep them as far away as possible.
In 2011, he allegedly had a meltdown when a female attorney asked for a break during a deposition to pump breast milk for her 3-month-old baby.
“He got up, his face got red, he shook his finger at me and he screamed, ‘You’re disgusting, you’re disgusting,’ and he ran out of there,” the attorney, Elizabeth Beck, told CNN.
Even his own kin seem to repulse him in their early years.
In a 2005 interview on Opie and Anthony, uncovered by Buzzfeed News, Trump recoiled at the question as to whether he changed diapers ahead of the birth of his fifth child, Barron.
“Do you actually change diapers?” host Anthony Cumia asked.
“No, I don’t do that,” he said. “There’s a lot of women out there that demand that the husband act like the wife, and you know, there’s a lot of husbands that listen to that. So you know, they go for it.”
“If I had a different type of wife,” Trump added. “I probably wouldn’t have a baby, ya know, cause that’s not my thing. I’m really, like, a great father, but certain things you do and certain things you don’t. It’s just not for me.”
Trump also made creepy comments about the physique of his daughter Tiffany when she was a baby. When the host of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous asked him during a 1994 episode how the newborn took after his then-wife, Marla Maples, he gave a detailed response.
“Well, I think that she’s got a lot of Marla,” he said. “She’s a really beautiful baby, and she’s got Marla’s legs. We don’t know whether she’s got this part yet, but time will tell.”
“This part” referred to boobs, as Trump gestured toward his chest when he made that comment.
And a recent photo of him holding two crabby-looking infants and mirroring their facial expressions also suggests there may be little room for infants in his comfort zone.