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President Trump made headlines on Monday for issuing a White House statement on John McCain’s death, and for announcing a tentative new trade agreement with Mexico.

But before all that, he tried to use a speaker phone on live TV. And it did not go well.

After greeting the press and sitting down in the Oval Office Monday morning, Trump made the announcement that a new trade deal with Mexico would replace NAFTA, settling in before his office landline and touting the fact that Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto was on the other line.

That’s when things took a turn for the worse.


“I believe the president is on the phone,” Trump said, pressing a button with a flourish and calling, “Enrique?”

When there was no answer, Trump’s expression turned puzzled as he hit another button on the console.

He then pressed several more buttons as camera shutters in the room went wild, capturing the moment.


“You know, you can hook him up,” Trump said expectantly. “You tell me when,” he continued.

As he waited, he greeted someone in the room before shrugging, adding, “It’s a big thing. A lot of people waiting.”

He then continued pressing buttons and calling, “Hello?”

He continued asking someone off-camera: “Do you want to, uh, put that on this phone, please?”

Evan Vucci/AP

And then more inquiring of the phone: “Hello?”

And cue more button pressing.

Evan Vucci/AP

Almost a full minute after Trump tried to get the speaker to work, an aide finally came to the rescue, leaning over the president’s shoulder and fiddling with the console for a few seconds before Peña Nieto’s voice came through.

“Be helpful,” Trump told the aide as he worked, raising his eyebrows at others in the room.

Evan Vucci/AP

Others seemed to think the whole ordeal was pretty hilarious.


“Speakerphonegate” wasn’t the only unexpected part of the phone call. At one point, Peña Nieto said that he was sending Trump “an affectionate hug.”

“A hug from you would be very nice,” Trump responded, as people in the room laughed.