Trump made a fool of himself and had the world's leaders laughing at him. Now he's trying to claim he meant to do that.
Attempting to explain away the embarrassing spectacle of the world's assembled leaders laughing in his face, Trump is now claiming his United Nations speech was intentionally humorous.
It isn't true.
In his Tuesday address, Trump delivered, with a perfectly straight face, his by-now cliché self-congratulatory hyperbole.
"In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country," he said. Then the audience burst into laughter.
"I wasn’t expecting that reaction," he said, "but that’s OK."
Hours later, Trump apparently decided to do some damage control and came up with an entirely new version of what happened.
"Oh it was great, that was meant to get some laughter," he told reporters later on Tuesday.
But during his speech, Trump didn't pause for the supposedly expected laughter. In fact, his speeches never contain deliberate laugh lines, and certainly not at his own expense.
Trump has, however, bragged in almost all of his speeches about what he thinks is his incredible performance in office, taking credit for the strong economy he inherited from the Obama administration. Never has such a line been delivered as a joke, with a pause for laughter.
Those remarks are usually made in front of pro-Trump audiences at rallies filled with diehard admirers, not objective observers and skeptical world leaders.
Pro-Trump propaganda outlet Fox News certainly did not think it was a joke and edited out the laughing in clips posted online.
The reality is, Trump was caught with his rhetorical pants down in front of the world. After years of claiming that other leaders were making America a laughingstock to the world, Trump did the deed himself.
Trump failed on the biggest international stage, humiliated himself, and now he's telling an obvious lie to try to save face.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.