There are lots of contenders, but this week is surely one of the strongest for the maddest ever of Donald Trump’s presidency.
Not content with dropping diplomatic bombs and offensive views all over the place, the president escalated matters slightly by trying to take over an entire country using Twitter the power of the dollar.
Here’s how it went down...
Most people are happy if they can manage to drag themselves out of bed and make it to the shop without throwing up on a Sunday, but not Donald Trump. Donald Trump does things BIGLY.
So the President of the USA went into the week by escalating an international diplomatic crisis by insisting America could buy Greenland. Yes, the entire country.
The president had acknowledged that he was “strategically” interested in such a deal, but said it was not a priority of his administration, a statement that would seem a little... phony given what happened over the next few days.
In a succinct summing up of the situation, it was reported Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen had said it was an “absurd discussion” and in any other era of history that would have been the end of it.
It was not the end of it.
In an apparent joke, in the early hours of Tuesday morning (we’re on BST here), Trump tweeted a doctored photo of Greenland’s luscious landscape besmirched with a gaudy Trump tower, with the caption: “I promise not to do this to Greenland!”
I promise not to do this to Greenland! pic.twitter.com/03DdyVU6HA— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2019
So the whole thing is a joke, right? Trump’s clearly having a jolly and being deliberately provocative to pass the time between Diet Cokes? Absolutely not, as became abundantly clear on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the president also declared he had had a “great discussion” with Boris Johnson about a post-Brexit trade deal but every single discussion Donald “I’m Great” Trump has ever had has been great, so this could mean literally anything from “we actually discussed a trade deal” to “we signed a secret pact to carve up Cornwall and drill for gummy bears”.
Great discussion with Prime Minister @BorisJohnson today. We talked about Brexit and how we can move rapidly on a US-UK free trade deal. I look forward to meeting with Boris this weekend, at the @G7, in France!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2019
Ah yes, Wednesday, the day when the whole Greenland saga got real.
As the rest of the world laughed off Trump’s claims of wanting to purchase the country, the US president threw a curveball and announced he was cancelling a scheduled meeting with Denmark’s prime minister because she was not interested in discussing a proposed sale.
Denmark is a very special country with incredible people, but based on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting scheduled in two weeks for another time....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2019
....The Prime Minister was able to save a great deal of expense and effort for both the United States and Denmark by being so direct. I thank her for that and look forward to rescheduling sometime in the future!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2019
So yeah, that actually happened. The President of the USA threw a fit because he couldn’t buy an entire country as if he was playing a game of Monopoly where Greenland is Old Kent Road and Trump is a giant silver dog, throwing wads of fake money around and screaming at your terrified mum who kindly volunteered to be the banker.
But was there something else going on here? Perhaps...
On paper at least, purchasing Greenland does make sense. The ice sheet covering the country is melting and this presents huge opportunities for mining precious resources and is a strategic point from which to explore and exploit more of the polar region.
But doubts about what was really going on were raised, including by Maggie Haberman of The New York Times, who asked in a tweet on Wednesday morning: “Unanswered question: What’s the real reason Trump didn’t want to go to Denmark that he’s blaming on the Greenland thing?”
Unanswered question: What's the real reason Trump didn't want to go to Denmark that he's blaming on the Greenland thing?— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) August 21, 2019
One of those who replied was David Frum, who served as speechwriter and special assistant to President George W Bush.
He suggested the real reason Trump was postponing his trip to Denmark is because it would come just a few weeks before another visit by Barack Obamawho is far more popular and would receive a far bigger welcome.
Yes, we’re still only at Wednesday.
Not content with pissing off an entire island of people near the Arctic, Trump then turned his attention to American Jews, saying those that voted Democrat are “disloyal”.
For an in-depth look at figures over the years who have accused Jewish people of being disloyal, have a read of this piece in The New York Times, but suffice to say Trump is not in the company of anyone with a particularly glowing reputation.
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.”
As if that wasn’t enough, Trump then praised automobile pioneer Henry Ford.
The Legendary Henry Ford and Alfred P. Sloan, the Founders of Ford Motor Company and General Motors, are “rolling over” at the weakness of current car company executives willing to spend more money on a car that is not as safe or good, and cost $3,000 more to consumers. Crazy!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 21, 2019
And y’know who Henry Ford really didn’t like? That’s right. So much so that actual Hitler called him an “inspiration”.
Yes, we know, a lot happened on Wednesday.
After declaring himself “the King of Israel” the president then went one step further and decided he was also “the chosen one”.
He actually said it. Out loud. Whilst turning towards the sky.
Now all he needs to do is defeat Keanu Reeves in a kung fu dual, kill Agent Smith and he’s basically got the whole set.
One positive from the debacle was this cracking front page from the NY Daily News.
Woop! It’s finally Thursday.
Trump didn’t actually do anything that mad on Thursday and you’re probably still reeling from Wednesday so let’s skip ahead...
On Friday Trump began his day with tweeting an impressive “94% Approval Rating within the Republican Party”.
He then added: “Thank you!”
94% Approval Rating within the Republican Party. Thank you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2019
Thing is, no one is really sure who he’s thanking. According to the Washington Post, there simply hasn’t been a poll with that result.
So dear reader, this brings us up to the present. And while all this madness was going on there were some very serious international developments. Here’s a summary:
- The Amazon is on fire
- North Korea launched another ballistic missile
- Iran, possibly feeling a bit left out, launched a new type of missile
- The US-China trade war that could spark a global recession escalated even further
So it is in this rather precarious context that our very own B̶r̶i̶t̶a̶i̶n̶ ̶T̶r̶u̶m̶p̶ Boris Johnson makes his global debut on the world stage this weekend at the G7 summit where he, the US president and a few more sensible people will try and tackle all of the above.
Good luck everyone.