“Don’t say you want me. Don’t say you need me. Don’t say you love me. It’s understood.”

Image: POOL/EPA/REX/Shutterstock

The first full cabinet meeting of the Trump administration, held on Monday at the White House, was like the opening of King Lear (if not something out of The Godfather or Goodfellas) as each member paid their respects to President Trump and poured praise over him like syrup over a pile of orange pancakes.

The public, photo-op portion of the affair began with Trump’s usual bluster, blaming Democrats as “obstructionists” (irony!) and the typical chest-puffing of accomplishments before he turned it over to the cabinet to introduce themselves. 

Along with the introductions came praise for the chief executive who made no secret of how much his enjoyed soaking up the adulation. 

Take, for instance, Vice President Mike Pence.

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Then there was Energy Secretary Rick Perry (shudder), who heaped praise on Trump for his Paris Climate Agreement decision while Trump nodded and smiled, appeased by the offering of thanks.

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While some of this rah-rah attitude is to be expected from a photo-op of a full cabinet meeting for the first time, a few moments seemed to go a bit over-the-top in making sure Trump’s ego was placated. 

Like the compliment from Chief of Staff Reince Priebus who metaphorically kissed Trump’s ring by saying, “We thank you for the opportunity and blessing to serve your agenda and the American people.”

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It’s all a bit squiffy, especially in light of former FBI director James Comey’s recent testimony that Trump demanded a pledge of loyalty (or is it a loyalty pledge?) from Comey. (As for the Lear comparisons, no one seemed quite brave enough to pull a Cordelia.)

If you can wade through it, you can watch the entire 23-minute ordeal here.

The meeting left quite an impression on people, including frequent Trump target, Sen. “Cryin'” Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who took the opportunity to mock the president’s praise marathon.

Enjoy the glow of adoration now, Mr. President. 

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