In August of 2018 the President attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the opening of the Foxconn LED screen plant in Sturtevant, Wisconsin. This will be the largest plant in North America, 3 times the size of the Pentagon, and has been met with a lot of backlash from citizens due to eminent domain land grabs and a $4.5 billion taxpayer incentive package that will take 25 years for taxpayers to break even.
Security is always tight at these events. After an initial quick online screening to get White House press passes, we board buses from a different location and are taken to the Foxconn site. Upon arrival, we have to leave our equipment on the bus while it’s scanned for weapons. Photographers and reporters are wanted to make sure we’re not carrying, and it’s off to a tented area while we await the President.
President Trump arrives via limo and all the roads to access the area by car are blocked off by police. He arrives without fanfare. This is not a rally. In fact, he just appears out of nowhere from behind a tent. Governor Walker, CEO Terry Gou, Paul Ryan, and another Foxconn dignitary walk behind the President and line up. They all pick up the golden shovel taking the obligatory stance, they take two scoops of earth and toss it. Shutters click madly, everyone getting the same photograph.
What I find fascinating is that there is absolutely no sound system. The President immediately starts speaking but no one can hear him, even though he’s only 20 feet away. Video people are muttering, “Where’s the sound?” and “Somebody mic’ him.” This is no oversight. Terry Gou was personally check ing the orientation of the chairs, they wouldn’t have forgotten a microphone or some music. It’s obvious, given the President’s tendency to just run off at the mouth and turn any event an opportunity to talk about himself, that Terry Gou didn’t want him to be heard.