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How other countries see Donald Trump, in a single image

This picture says at least a thousand words about how the world views Donald Trump, and none of them are kind words.

How other countries see Donald Trump, in a single image
[Photo: Shealah Craighead/The White House/Flickr]

If you’re an American who has traveled abroad recently, odds are you’ve at some point been gotten this question: What the hell is going on with your country right now?

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If you’re a Trump supporter, the response is probably something along the lines of: Ass-kicking, America-style, and it’s about time!

The rest of us, however, must either sheepishly shrug, weep in despair, or otherwise distance ourselves from the complicated and embarrassing set of circumstances at hand, all while groping for some concise way to explain them.

A lot of people around the world are as baffled by the buffoonery of President Donald Trump as Americans are by that of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, if not more so. That confusion tends to curdle into alarm, however, the closer that foreigners get to the eye of Hurricane Trump.

Consider, for instance, what one Australian reporter had to say about the experience of attending a full Trump press conference in the U.S. recently: “Most mornings in Australia begin with news from America⁠—the bid to buy Greenland, adjustments to a weather map hand-drawn with a Sharpie or another self-aggrandizing tweet. Our headlines and news bulletins, like headlines and news bulletins everywhere, are full of Trump,” she writes in the Guardian. “But watching a full presidential Trump press conference while visiting the US this week I realized how much the reporting of Trump necessarily edits and parses his words, to force it into sequential paragraphs or impose meaning where it is difficult to detect.”

This piece provides a helpful flavor of how the outside world views Trump. However, words fail to capture what it’s like to truly encounter his inanity for the first time—the rambling, the narcissism, the easily disprovable lies and remedial grasp of the English language. The face this Italian translator made at the White House yesterday, during a joint press conference with Italian president Sergio Mattarella, sums it all up clearly and comprehensively.

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Aside from the more groan-worthy lines above, here are some other things Donald Trump said during the press conference:

  • “Syria also has a relationship with the Kurds. Who, by the way, are no angels, okay, who is an angel. There aren’t too many around, but Syria has a relationship with the Kurds. “
  • “I spent two and a half trillion dollars over the last almost three years rebuilding our military. When I took it over, it was a mess. It was an absolute mess. It was totally depleted. You know that. A lot of people know that. Honest people all know that. When I was thinking about having to do something, one of our generals came in to see me and he said, ‘Sir, we don’t have ammunition.’ I said, ‘That’s a terrible thing you just said.'”
  • “Russia hates ISIS. Russia hates ISIS as much as the United States does. Iran hates ISIS. I mean, we’re fighting a war for Russia. We’re fighting a war for Iran. You look at Syria, Syria hates ISIS. We’re over there killing ISIS and we’re killing . . . Don’t forget, we’re 7,000 miles away. So we’re killing ISIS. We’re 7,000 miles away. Russia’s much closer. Iran is right there. Turkey is right there. They all hate ISIS. Turkey a little bit less so. But the others very much. Russia had a plane blown up by ISIS. Russia wants nothing to do with ISIS. Russia’s tough. They can kill ISIS just as well and they happen to be in their neighborhood.”
  • “The United States and Italy are bound together by a shared cultural and political heritage dating back thousands of years to Ancient Rome.”

When you’re the proverbial frog that has been soaking in boiling hot water for three years, sometimes it can be hard to objectively know just how hot the water has gotten.

The look on the Italian translator’s face succinctly expresses just what it’s like to be tossed in at the current temperature.

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