On Wednesday, during one of the president’s more memorable exchanges with reporters, Donald Trump gestured towards the heavens and called himself “The Chosen One”.
There was some context. He was regaling the media with the rationale behind the administration’s intractable trade conflict with China.
He is “The Chosen One”, in the sense that no other president has adopted the same kind of hardline approach to Beijing.
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We were quick to note that the context would be irrelevant. “The clip is from the president’s comments on confronting China, but nevertheless, it is likely to be looped in perpetuity on the way to becoming a meme”, we remarked, minutes after the president jokingly declared himself a prophet.
The problem, though, is that Trump’s joke came just hours after he quoted notorious conspiracy theorist Wayne Allyn Root who suggested that Jewish people think of the president as “King of Israel [and] the second coming of God”.
To be clear, Trump was not joking when he quoted Root. Rather, he was completely serious in that he used the “King of Israel” quote to justify his ongoing (and libelous) war of words with Ilhan Omar and Rashinda Tlaib. The previous day, Trump told reporters that Jewish Americans who vote Democrat are “disloyal”.
In any event, Trump now finds himself in the absurd position of having to clarify that he does not, in fact, consider himself “The Chosen One”, because if he did it would make him, by definition, delusional.
“When I looked up to the sky and jokingly said ‘I am the chosen one’, at a press conference two days ago, referring to taking on Trade with China, little did I realize that the media would claim that I had a ‘Messiah complex'”, Trump explained on Saturday.
“They knew I was kidding, being sarcastic, and just having fun”, he continued, before reminding the world that “I was smiling as I looked up and around”.
The president delivered a similar defense before boarding Air Force One for France on Friday evening.
Again, the fact that Trump is in this position is a new testament (get it?) to his penchant for stumbling into ridiculous arguments and feuds befitting of a sitcom.
“The MANY reporters with me were smiling also”, Trump went on to say Saturday, of the people who were present when he revealed himself as a demigod. “They knew the TRUTH”.
The only question now is this: If Trump isn’t “The Chosen One”, how can we be sure the trade war with China is going to turn out well in the end?