President Donald Trump compared himself to a king Saturday with a quote by American philosopher and writer Ralph Waldo Emerson warning: “When you strike at a king, you must kill him.”
Trump actually wrote “the king.”
Critics went wild.
Trump picked the quote in a tweet from a piece in The New York Times early this month warning that the angry, vengeful president would be dangerously unleashed once Senate Republicans acquitted him in the impeachment trial.
For extra measure after the Emerson quote, Trump added: “The Greatest Witch Hunt in American history!”
“You’re no king” almost instantly trended on Twitter. (A version of that rejoinder included “Fool, you ain’t no king.”) Several people pointed out to the president that the Times article was scathingly negative about him and an unusual one for him to promote.
The king quote was part of a number of wild tweets from the president before he headed out for another weekend of golf — at his course in West Palm Beach. (In a particularly sophomoric communication, Trump retweeted a five-year-old videotape of the accidentally recorded bathroom sounds of a Texas mayor. The tweet came from an anti-Trump account.)
But it was the king quote in a nation that threw off a king that really got critics going. Walter Shaub, former head of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, responded flatly: “You’re not king.” Trump biographer Tim O’Brien, now a senior campaign adviser to Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, noted that Trump finally said the “quiet thing out loud: ‘I am a King.’”
To attorney George Conway, the anti-Trump spouse of White House counsel Kellyanne Conway, the tweet confirmed what he has claimed all along: that the president is an out-of-control narcissist.
Former federal prosecutor and Michigan law professor Barbara McQuade was chilled by the tweet, calling it possibly Trump’s “most sinister.”
Christine Pelosi, daughter of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) tweeted that far from being a king, Trump is nothing more than an “impeached4life man who wants to draw everyone else into his hate and fury.”