Roll up, roll up, folks! We all know that everyone loves a good joke, and Trump’s term was chock-full of them.
And amidst the whirlwinds of tweets and the occasional political tornadoes, even his most devoted followers couldn’t help but raise an eyebrow (or two). Let’s unveil 13 of Trump’s most unforgettable “Oops!” moments.
Becoming a Meme: The Covfefe Tweet
On the night of May 31, 2017, Trump sent the Twitter sphere into a collective frenzy with a cryptic tweet reading, “Despite the constant negative press covfefe.” And that was it. Just “covfefe.” The tweet stayed up for six hours before it was deleted, attracting over 127,000 retweets, 162,000 likes, and a wildfire of memes.
The ‘Access Hollywood’ Tape
Unearthed during the heat of the 2016 presidential campaign, this 2005 recording featured Trump crudely bragging about his celebrity status, allowing him to make unsolicited advances on women. The audio showcased Trump engaging in what he later dismissed as “locker room banter,” but for many, it was a clear and explicit endorsement of sexual misconduct.
Bidding Adieu to the Paris Climate Agreement
The Paris Agreement was the world’s united stand against climate change, with 189 countries pledging to curb their greenhouse gas emissions.
Trump flouted the nation’s responsibility to the planet and missed a golden opportunity to lead the renewable energy revolution. This is a questionable move, considering that the U.S. is responsible for around 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions, second only to China.
The Helsinki Summit Stance
Despite overwhelming consensus among U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, Trump chose to side with Putin’s vehement denials during the July 2018 Helsinki Summit. Even his most ardent fans scratched their heads at this move.
Data from a CBS poll showed that only 32% of Republicans approved of his handling of the summit, a noticeable dip compared to his usual ratings.
The Inhumane Family Separation Policy
This policy, under the guise of border security, thrust the U.S. into a human rights debacle. Reports revealed a bone-chilling statistic: more than 2,500 children were stripped away from their parents at the U.S-Mexico border, resulting in a wave of criticism domestically and internationally.
The Muslim Ban Chaos
Trump signed an executive order in January 2017 that banned citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the US for 90 days. The result? Widespread confusion, protests, and legal challenges.
Data from the Department of Homeland Security showed that about 60,000 visas were revoked in the first week alone.
The Mueller-Led Russia Investigation
Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign was accused of colluding with Russia, which was very difficult to ignore. Despite Trump’s vehement denial, the investigation, led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, painted a different picture.
Mueller’s report, a hefty 448 pages long, detailed multiple instances of potential obstruction of justice. The investigation resulted in 34 indictments, 7 guilty pleas, and 5 prison sentences.
The Sharpie Hurricane Map
Trump showcased a doctored map in an Oval Office briefing to save face over an incorrect tweet about Hurricane Dorian’s projected path.
The map, boldly modified with a Sharpie, extended the hurricane’s path to include Alabama. Despite the National Weather Service explicitly stating Alabama was not at risk, Trump stuck to his Sharpie-enhanced forecast.
The 35-day Government Shutdown
With an impasse over funding for a border wall, Trump enforced the longest shutdown in U.S. history, furloughing nearly 800,000 federal employees.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, this move invited bipartisan criticism and resulted in an estimated economic loss of $11 billion.
The John McCain Feud
McCain was a decorated war hero and a respected figure in American politics. When Trump declared, “I like people who weren’t captured,” it was an insult that was hard for many to ignore. Trump didn’t stop there; he continued to make disparaging remarks even after McCain died in 2018.
Transgender Military Ban
This decision, announced via Twitter in 2017, cited “tremendous medical costs and disruption” as the reasoning.
However, a study by the RAND Corporation found the anticipated annual costs to be between $2.4 million and $8.4 million, a mere 0.04% to 0.13% increase in active-duty healthcare expenditures. For comparison, the military spends ten times that amount on er*ctile dysfunction medications annually.
His “Very Fine People” Statement in Charlottesville
In August 2017, amidst a tension-filled clash between white nationalists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, violence erupted, culminating in the death of a young woman. Trump’s response to this chaos? There were “very fine people on both sides.” Equating hate-spewing neo-Nazis with those protesting against them seemed like an ill-conceived attempt at neutrality.
Bagging A Second Impeachment
This time, the charges stemmed from accusations of “incitement of insurrection” following the Capitol Hill riot on January 6, 2021.
According to a poll by the Pew Research Center, Trump’s approval rating plummeted to a staggering 29% following the incident, a sharp decline even among his loyal base.
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