MADISON — A new book reveals President Donald Trump had a lot of questions about badgers in the early months of his presidency, according to a report from Business Insider.
Trump would ask Reince Priebus, his first White House chief of staff and a Wisconsin resident, whether badgers are “mean to people,” how they “work,” and how aggressive they can get, according to “Sinking in the Swamp: How Trump’s Minions and Misfits Poisoned Washington,” by Daily Beast reporters Lachlan Markay and Asawin Suebsaeng.
According to the book:
“After Trump was reminded that the short-legged omnivore was practically synonymous with the Badger State, he’d make a point of bringing it up at seemingly random occasions to his beleaguered chief of staff.
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“ ‘Are they mean to people?’ Trump at least twice asked Priebus in the opening months of his presidency. ‘Or are they friendly creatures?’ The president would also ask if Priebus had any photos of badgers he could show him, and if Priebus could carefully explain to him how badgers ‘work’ exactly.
“He wanted Reince — resident White House badger historian, apparently — to explain to him Wisconsin’s obsession with the animal, how the little critters function and behave, what kind of food they like, and how aggressive or deadly they could be when presented with perceived existential threats.
“Trump also wanted to know if the badger had a ‘personality’ or if it was boring. What kind of damage could a badger to do a person with its flashy, sharp claws?
“An obviously enthralled president would stare at Priebus as the aide struggled for sufficiently placating answers, all the while trying to gently veer the conversation back to whether we were going to do a troop surge in Afghanistan or strip millions of Americans of healthcare coverage.”
Wisconsin is known as the Badger State in reference to the lead miners of the early 19th century and not because of an abundance of the black-and-white woodland creatures. Although one particular version can be seen hanging around UW-Madison sporting events.