U.S. President Donald Trump has been very loud and vocal about his foreign policy – America first. It was in fact one of his rallying cries during his 2016 election campaign.
Since then he has used this phrase as a policy by bringing in tariffs against U.S. allies and even alienating trade partners. So when he spoke at the United Nations General Assembly about his “accomplishments” – there was a moment of disbelief and laughter. And Trump was momentarily taken aback at the reaction.
During his speech to leaders of other countries, Trump stated that “In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country,” Trump began, using the superlative language that typically elicits cheers at his election rallies. The world’s representatives reacted with murmuring and then full blown laughter.
"So true," said Trump as he looked surprised, maybe a bit flustered and added, “Didn’t expect that reaction, but that’s OK,” he added after a pause, eliciting more laughing from his audience.
Trump bragged about his presidency at #UNGA and world leaders laughed.
— POLITICO (@politico) September 25, 2018
The laughter by leaders of other countries now openly shows what they think of the current U.S. President and also of his policies that have come at the cost of historic relationships and trade ties.
This reaction to Trump came as he went on about criticising traditional allies like Germany and praising a global pariah like North Korea.
This reaction is also an irony of the highest proportions because Trump has repeatedly mentioned how bothered he was by other countries laughing at the United States before he was President. "The world is laughing at us," he would say on the campaign trail, referring to the policies of then-President Barack Obama.
Later in the day when asked about this particular moment, Trump said, "Oh it was great". He added, "Well that was meant to get some laughter, but it was great." From someone who has seen this clip multiple times, I really don’t believe he did it all on purpose!