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Trump explains his distinctive orange hue: it's the lightbulbs

The Guardian logo The Guardian 14/09/2019 Edward Helmore

It’s been the subject of intense debate among late-night comedians and Donald Trump’s many online critics: why, in certain circumstances, does the president of the United States sometimes appear … orange?

Now Trump himself has come up with an answer – and it’s not one anyone was expecting. The problem, apparently, is energy-efficient lightbulbs.

Talking before an audience of Republican legislators in Baltimore on Thursday night, Trump gave a rambling speech in which he tackled criticism of his recent plans to weaken regulations on environmentally friendly bulbs.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: Trump at the White House in December last year. The president said that as far as energy-efficient bulbs are concerned, ‘the light is the worst’. © AP Trump at the White House in December last year. The president said that as far as energy-efficient bulbs are concerned, ‘the light is the worst’. “The lightbulb,” the president began. “People said: what’s with the lightbulb? I said: here’s the story. And I looked at it. The bulb that we’re being forced to use! No 1, to me, most importantly, the light’s no good. I always look orange. And so do you! The light is the worst.”

But that was not the end of it. Trump complained that the energy-efficient bulb is many times more expensive than its incandescent predecessor and, he claimed, needs to be treated as “hazardous waste” if it breaks.

Related slideshow: Donald Trump's most outrageous quotes (Provided by Photo Services)

Energy-efficient bulbs such as halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) typically use about 25 to 80% less energy than traditional incandescents, and can last up to 25 times longer.

But that wasn’t good enough for Trump. He continued: “What are we doing? It’s considered hazardous waste, but it’s many times more expensive and frankly the light is not as good. So we’re going to sell them, but we’re also going to sell incandescent bulbs. People are very happy about it. It’s amazing.”

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