So I had heard that this was going to happen a few days before it did, but only saw an out of context video after the fact.
Thankfully the New York Times wrote this piece to clarify the shenanigans:
Before all was said and done, the East Room event, which featured a rambling speech by Mr. Trump on everything from Federal Reserve policy to his hairstyle, devolved into a confrontation in the Rose Garden after the presidential news conference between Sebastian Gorka, the former White House official turned media personality, and a reporter. James O’Keefe, an activist who likes to capture videos under false pretenses to embarrass liberals and journalists, filmed the scene.
The reporter, Brian Karem of Playboy, said that the group was hungry for “demonic possession.” Mr. Gorka questioned his journalistic credentials and approached Mr. Karem, who suggested the two talk outside.
“Gorka! Gorka! Gorka!” his supporters chanted as Mr. Gorka called the journalist a “punk.”
Another activist, Joy Villa, preened in the background in a floor-length red gown emblazoned with the word “freedom.” “Fake news is over!” Ms. Villa shouted amid the melee, before talking about who designed her gown.
Here is video of that interaction:
Just seeing James O’Keefe trying to present himself as a legitimate journalist and the voice of reason is stomach churning all on its own.
Here’s more from NYT:
Other supporters who had made the journey from the internet’s backwaters to the White House included “Carpe Donktum,” who created a fake video of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. that Mr. Trump shared on Twitter. There was also Bill Mitchell, who enjoys discussing QAnon, an online conspiracy theory that purports to share government secrets. And there was Ali Alexander, who shared a tweet questioning Kamala Harris’s racial background.
Ostensibly, the entire exercise was a chance for Mr. Trump to hear grievances from his supporters. That is what some of them said, anyway. Charlie Kirk, the 25-year-old founder of Turning Point USA, a group that reaches out to young conservatives, said before the event that he was going into it with a “center right” view on how the president should search for evidence that social media platforms were silencing conservative voices. Mr. Kirk and members of his organization have been criticized by the Southern Poverty Law Center for tweets that contained anti-immigrant or racist views.
So essentially this was an opportunity for Trump to connect with the right wing trolls who lie about the facts, attack liberal politicians, and harrass Twitter users on his behalf.
It’s sort of like if Sauron from the Lord of the Rings called all of the goblins together so that he coud personally pat them on their slimy green heads for doing such a good job of spreading mayhem.
These are the folks that Twitter and Facebook are trying to keep off of thier social media platforms for spreading misinformation and harrassing other users, and Trump invites them to the White House to congratulate them for the very same thing.
In some ways this may be the best representation of the Trump presidency that we have seen gathered in one place.
The entire presidency is based on racism, lies, and personal attacks, and these are the people who push that narrative out to the masses.
Donald Trump himself is an internet troll who hit the big time, so of course he wants to celebrate that success with other members of his tribe.