On Wednesday, President Trump referred to himself as “the chosen one” while answering a question regarding the ongoing trade war with China:
So, the fake news, of which many of you are members, is trying to convince the public to have a recession. “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. President Clinton, President Bush, and President Obama and others should have done this long before me. My life would be much easier – although I enjoy doing it – but my life would be much easier if I just said, “Let China continue to rip off the United States,” alright? It would be much easier, but I can’t do that.
We are winning against China. They’ve lost two and a half million jobs in a very short period of time. They want to make a deal; it’s got to be a deal that’s good for the United States. When they want to make a deal, probably we will make a deal … somebody said it’s Trump’s trade war. This isn’t my trade war; this is a trade war that should have taken place a long time ago by a lot of other presidents. Over the last five or six years, China’s made $500 billion, five hundred billion, ripped it out of the United States – and not only that, if you take a look, intellectual property theft, add that to it, and add a lot of other things to it…
So, somebody had to do it. [Looks back and toward the sky] I am the chosen one. Somebody had to do it. So, I’m taking on China; I’m taking on China on trade, and you know what? We’re winning … I was put here by people to do a great job, and that’s what I’m doing, and nobody’s done a job like I’ve done.
Following the president’s remarks, memes spread across social media. Two of them from Occupy Democrats were “liked” a combined 27,800 times and shared 35,000 times. These memes claimed that in addition to saying he was the “chosen one,” President Trump called himself the “king of Israel,” and “retweeted that he [is] ‘the second coming of God.'” Both of these claims are wildly distorted, reports Snopes.
Here’s how some media outlets reported on Trump’s “chosen one” statement:
- The Root: Trump Calling Himself The ‘Chosen One’ Wasn’t Even The Most Insane Moment Of His Unhinged Rant
On Friday, when a reporter asked Trump about his choice of language, he replied:
Let me tell you, you know exactly what I meant. … It was sarcasm. It was joking. We were all smiling. And the question like that is just fake news. You’re just a faker.
He further tweeted on Saturday:
When I looked up to the sky and jokingly said, “I am the chosen one” at a press conference two days ago, referring to taking on Trade with China, little did I realize that the media would claim that I had a “Messiah complex.” They knew I was kidding, being sarcastic, and just having fun. I was smiling as I looked up and around. The MANY reporters with me were smiling also. They knew the TRUTH…And yet when I saw the reporting, CNN, MSNBC, and other Fake News outlets covered it as serious news & me thinking of myself as the Messiah. No more trust!
The president, who is currently in France for the G7 Summit, has routinely referred to mainstream news outlets as “fake news” due in part to their often negative coverage of his rhetoric.