President Donald Trump made sure to note that his hands are far from tiny as he and First Lady Melania Trump helped serve food to residents impacted by Hurricane Irma in Naples, Florida, on Thursday.
As Trump stood before a silver tin of shrink-wrapped hoagies in a staging area, he attempted to put on a pair of plastic gloves —but quickly ran into trouble.
“They’re too small,” Trump exclaimed, as the glove ripped along the thumb of his right hand, exposing skin.
Then, rather than picking up the sandwiches and handing them to hungry residents, he pointed to them and eagerly shouted “don’t forget to take one!”
This isn’t the first time Trump has cracked a joke in a disaster zone about the size of his much-disputed mitts. Earlier this month, he declared “my hands are too big” while putting on gloves at a relief center in Houston following deadly Hurricane Harvey.
The size of his hands have been a notorious sticking point for the president, dating back to 1988 when journalist Graydon Carter called him a “short-fingered vulgarian” in Spy magazine. The diss apparently got under Trump’s skin for decades, and Carter claims the mogul retaliated by repeatedly sending him photos of himself with his hands circled, sometimes captioning the images “See, not so short!”
The small hands controversy was reignited last year when then-GOP presidential rival Marco Rubio — Florida’s junior senator — said on the campaign trail of Trump, “He’s like 6’2” which is why I don’t understand why his hands are the size of someone who is 5’2″. Have you seen his hands? You know what they say about men with small hands? You can’t trust them.”
MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski also cracked a joke about his “teensie” hands in June, just before Trump launched a vicious Twitter attack on her, calling her “low I.Q.” and claiming he once saw her “bleeding badly from a face-lift.”
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After the glove drama blew over on Thursday, Trump, who wore a “USA” hat as he helped pass out sandwiches, bananas and water alongside his wife and Vice President Mike Pence, cheerfully shook hands and posed for selfies with many of the residents who lined up for food.
According to CBS, the president thanked supporters in the line, telling a man in a Trump campaign shirt to take two bananas because, “You’re wearing a good shirt!”
One supporter, encouraged by the president, took a jab at his predecessor, Barack Obama, telling reporters, “Where was Obama on the last hurricane? He was playing golf.”
Earlier on Thursday, the president and first lady touched down in Fort Myers, where they were greeted on the tarmac by Florida Governor Rick Scott, Rubio and FEMA administrator Brock Long. After delivering remarks on DACA and tax reform, the president thanked the U.S. Coast Guard and first responders who helped save lives during Irma.
Trump then toured a Naples neighborhood, where he told reporters, “We love the people of Florida” and promised to return to help.
“Everybody has been incredible and the people that live here, immediately getting back to fix their homes, we are there for you 100 percent, I’ll be back here numerous times, it’s a state I know very well,” he added.