Trump explains why he is the only president in 100 years to not have a dog: 'I don’t have any time'

The president also said the idea of adopting a dog seems a bit 'phony' to him

Sarah Harvard
New York
Tuesday 12 February 2019 16:50 GMT
Donald Trump says he is too busy to have a dog: 'I wouldn't mind having one, honestly, but I don't have any time'

President Donald Trump is the only president in more than 100 years to not own a dog while living in the White House - and now he's explained why.

The last president without a dog was William McKinley, the 25th president. He did, however, have kittens, parrots and roosters as pets. Mr Trump, on the other hand, is breaking presidential tradition by having no pets at all living in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

On Monday night, while appearing at a rally in El Paso, Texas, Mr Trump explained that the concept of adopting a dog is “phony” to him, and argued that his supporters will still like him despite not owning a dog. He also said that he just doesn’t have the time to look after a pet.

“You do love your dogs, don’t you?” Mr Trump said to a cheering crowd, after a tangent about how German shepherds have the superior ability to sniff drugs being smuggled into the country. “I wouldn’t mind having one, honestly, but I don’t have any time. How would I look walking a dog on the White House lawn?"

Mr Trump confessed that a lot of people have advised him to adopt a dog since it would make him look good politically, but he has repeatedly refused to consider pet adoption arguing, “that’s not the relationship I have with my people.”

“I don’t know, I don’t feel good,” he added. “Feels a little phony to me.”

It should be noted that the president has often used “dog” as an insult to his political rivals and critics. He said Stephen Bannon, his former White House chief strategist, was “dumped like a dog by almost everyone.” According to Mr Trump, 2012 Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney “choked like a dog,” commentators and journalists like David Gregory have been “fired like a dog.” The president even compared dogs to the late rapper Mac Miller, former Obama adviser David Axelrod, and his former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman.

But these dog-related insults don’t reflect the president’s attitudes towards man’s best friend. He has an apparent admiration for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. According to the Washington Post, from 2010 to 2015, Mr Trump would traditionally invite the dog show winners to meet with him at Trump Tower in Manhattan.

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Furthermore, on Monday evening, Mr Trump went into great detail about his respect for German shepherds, specifically for their efforts in drug enforcement. He described the breed as “unbelievable. They’ll run past all these empty boxes, and one of the boxes has drugs in it, deep down in a box. And it comes to a screeching halt, barking at it every time.”

He added a conversation he had with the manufacturers behind drug detection products about their devices and how they compare to trained German shepherds.

“The guy looks at me and goes, ‘Sir, honestly, it’s not as good,’ ” Mr Trump told the crowd. “Can you believe it? German shepherds.”

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