Here Is the First Known Photo of Donald Trump Using a Computer
Trump's boring AMA did give us one thing: The first known photo of Trump using a computer.
Image: Donald Trump Facebook
Donald Trump's Reddit AMA was a thoroughly boring exercise in which the candidate trotted out robotic talking points, and fans freaked out just to be graced with his presence. As far as politician AMAs go, that's pretty much par for the course. But the Trump AMA did yield one incredibly important and entertaining thing: The first known photo of Donald Trump using a computer.
A March blog post by Gizmodo's Matt Novak makes the incredibly compelling case that Trump has never used a computer. The post cites various media reports, including a 2015 New York Times story in which Trump said he "doesn't do the email thing." When he writes his own tweets, he uses a smartphone, though he also dictates some of them to a personal assistant. A tweet from February showed that Trump reads online media that's been printed out.
Previously, this is the closest anyone has come to documenting Trump using a computer:
The story of how Trump ended up in the situation you see above is due primarily to Reddit tradition and protocol. See, when a celebrity does an AMA, they need to provide proof that it's actually them. The way this is usually done is through a tweet or Facebook post that says something to the effect of, "Hey, I'm doing a Reddit AMA right now," combined with a link to the Reddit thread and—here's the kicker—a photo of the person sitting at a computer to indicate that they are, indeed, doing the AMA. Here's Waka Flocka Flame, doing it right:
And here's President Obama, from his 2012 AMA:
Trump's AMA didn't start off this way. As I pointed out in our live tweet of the AMA, Trump's Facebook did link to Reddit, but it didn't provide any proof that he was actually doing any typing or, indeed, even aware that the AMA was actually happening. About 45 minutes into the process, someone at Trump HQ must have noticed that he didn't provide any real proof, because they then updated with the following post:
And there you have it. Donald Trump sitting in front of a computer that is most likely on and functioning. Look at that posture, that symphony conductor-like form.
Of course, we don't have any proof that he didn't swap out with a staffer (I've reached out to the Trump campaign to ask if he actually did the typing). I don't know if having lackluster typing form is an excuse for giving a bunch of canned, likely pre-written answers (sample: "I am never tired of winning, and as your president I will win for you, the American people. I'm with you!"), but it's as good an explanation as any.