President Donald Trump is known for making dumb and offensive remarks that diminish the country’s standing with the rest of the world. But Tuesday and Wednesday have been an embarrassment of bizarre riches even by his usual standards. Let’s review:
He’s Super Mad He Can’t Buy Greenland
The adult U.S. president tweeted Tuesday night that he was canceling a meeting with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen after finding out she would not engage in a conversation about his desire to buy Greenland.
It began last week, when The Wall Street Journal reported that Trump was having serious talks with White House staff about buying the territory from Denmark. When asked about it on Sunday, Trump seemed confident he could make a deal for a prize that doesn’t belong to the U.S. and that no one asked for.
“Denmark essentially owns it,” Trump told reporters. “We’re very good allies with Denmark. We protect Denmark like we protect large portions of the world. ... Strategically it’s interesting.”
Frederiksen shut down the idea immediately.
“Greenland is not Danish,” she wrote in an article for the newspaper Sermitsiaq. “Greenland belongs to Greenland. I strongly hope that this is not meant seriously.”
But it was, apparently, meant seriously. And once Trump realized he’d never get Greenland, he canceled his scheduled trip to Denmark, posting on Twitter that it was because Frederiksen has “no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland.”
He Made More Anti-Semitic Remarks
Trump leaned hard into his trademark anti-Semitism on Wednesday morning when he suggested Jewish people who vote for Democrats are “disloyal.”
“If you vote for a Democrat, you’re being disloyal to Jewish people and you’re being very disloyal to Israel,” the president told reporters outside the White House. “Only weak people would say anything other than that.”
The statement was a doubling down of comments he’d made a day prior while attacking Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who have leveled criticisms at Israel’s government.
“I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty,” Trump said. (About 79% of Jewish voters voted for Democratic candidates in the 2018 midterm elections, according to the Pew Research Center, so that’s Trump calling 8 in 10 American Jews either ignorant or disloyal.)
Later, Trump tweeted out a lengthy quote from conspiracy theorist Wayne Allyn Root that said he was the “greatest President for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world” and that “the Jewish people in Israel love him... like he’s the King of Israel.”
And speaking of a God complex...
He Called Himself ‘The Chosen One’
Speaking to reporters outside the White House on Wednesday, Trump blamed the media for reporting on the possibility of a looming recession, defended a failing trade war against China, and called himself the “chosen one” while looking up at the sky.
“The fake news, of which many of you are members, is trying to convince the public to have a recession,” Trump said. “Let’s have a recession! The United States is doing phenomenally well. But one thing I have to do is economically take on China, because China has been ripping us off for many years.”
He said his life would be “easier” if he hadn’t decided to embark on a trade war with China, then tried to deny responsibility, saying “this isn’t my trade war.”
The president then looked up in the sky and said: “I am the chosen one. So I’m taking on China. I’m taking on China on trade. And you know what? We’re winning.”
He Reversed On Gun Control And Payroll Tax Cuts
Trump made clear he is still in the pocket of the National Rifle Association when he walked back a sensible gun control measure that would require stronger background checks.
“We need intelligent background checks, OK? This isn’t a question of NRA, Republican or Democrat,” Trump said earlier this month, following multiple mass shootings that left a combined 31 people dead. “We don’t want insane people, mentally ill people, bad people, dangerous people. ... We don’t want guns in the hands of the wrong people.”
But Trump later spoke to NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre and assured him that universal background checks were off the table, as The Atlantic reported Tuesday. The day Trump spoke to LaPierre, he also walked back his language to reporters in the Oval Office.
“We have missing areas, and areas that don’t complete the whole circle. And we’re looking at different things,” Trump said. “And I have to tell you that it is a mental problem. And I’ve said it a hundred times, it’s not the gun that pulls the trigger, it’s the people.”
He later denied ever saying universal background checks were off the table.
And this Wednesday, Trump said he would not cut taxes to help battle an economic slowdown, just one day after saying the opposite, CNBC reported.
“I’m not looking at a tax cut now,” Trump told reporters Wednesday. “We don’t need it. We have a strong economy.”
Meanwhile, amid the absurdity of the past 24 hours, Trump and his administration have continued to methodically gut environmental protections, trample civil liberties and keep kids in cages indefinitely. But he’ll probably start acting presidential any day now.