Headlines and social media are alight in the wake of another bizarre claim from President Trump, and now spokespeople for the White House have been put in the awkward position of having to react, and going against Trump’s line of reasoning isn’t an option.
During a rambling speech at the National Republican Congressional Committee’s annual spring dinner in Washington this Tuesday, Trump delved into a litany of debunked claims about wind turbines which included the notion that the noise they produce causes cancer.
“The thing makes so much noise, and of course it’s like a graveyard for birds,” Trump said. “And they say the noise causes cancer. You tell me that one, okay?”
As BuzzFeed points out, Trump’s claim stems from a debunked theory known as “wind turbine syndrome,” which originated from conspiracy theorists who blame wind turbines for an array of illnesses from chronic headaches to cancer.
This Wednesday, an exasperated-looking White House strategic communications director, Mercedes Schlapp, was asked a question by a reporter about Trump’s comments, and she apparently had no choice but to claim ignorance.
“Do wind turbines cause cancer?” a reporter asked Schlapp.
“I don’t have an answer on that,” she replied. “… I really don’t have information on that right now.”
“What do you say to American families that are concerned today that the President says wind turbines cause cancer?” the reporter pressed.
“I don’t have information on that,” she reiterated. “If I get a readout, I’m happy to update you on that.”
She then walked away.
Question: "Do wind turbines cause cancer?"
Mercedes Schlapp, White House Director of Strategic Communications: "I don't have an answer to that." pic.twitter.com/cxcZHQoov2
— The Hill (@thehill) April 3, 2019
Even Trump’s fellow Republican Chuck Grassley thought the cancer remark was “idiotic.”
“Pretty simple. I wish his staff would tell him I’m the father and now the grandfather of wind energy tax credits,” Grassley said according to POLITICO. “I don’t think he knows it, or I don’t think he’d make those comments that aren’t quite appropriate.”
Grassley then gave Trump some cover by saying he was just making a “tongue in cheek” remark.
Featured image: Flickr