The internet erupted today when President Tump tweeted a real head scratcher about the Trump-Russia investigation.
First, here’s the tweet:
Russia must be laughing up their sleeves watching as the U.S. tears itself apart over a Democrat EXCUSE for losing the election.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 11, 2017
Laughing up their sleeves? Yeah, we weren’t sure what this meant either. At first glance, it appears to be a mixed metaphor, or maybe something the President just invented, as he’s famous for doing, apparently.
The Twitterverse was relentless:
— (((Pam))) (@fradmin) May 11, 2017
I am literally trying to do a #laughinguptheirsleeves but i cannot do it. How do you do that? I'd really like to know
— Bart Roozendaal (@BartRoozendaal) May 11, 2017
Russians don't wear sleeves. pic.twitter.com/0j7BVTh6ZD
— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) May 11, 2017
"Laughing up their sleeves"????
Probably sounds better in the original Russian because no American has ever used this phrase.
— Ben. No More, No Less. (@BJS_quire) May 11, 2017
Even though this sounds like more of the word vomit the President has become famous for, “laughing their sleeves off” is, in fact, an old British idiom popularized in the early 1800s. The Twitter account for Merriam webster has a history of trolling the President, but today they came to his defense.
Yeah, we enter it. https://t.co/3vvrAEFBHu
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) May 11, 2017
How President Trump – who thinks he invented an 100 year-old expression and used it for the first time ever yesterday – knew how exactly to utilize this 200 year-old idiom, is another story entirely.
But the real issue is, why does the President appear to be taking Russia’s side in this investigation? He’s kicking America’s intelligence community down a peg just to make a point that also elevates Russia. Imagine if Barrack Obama made that same joke. Republicans would be clammoring for impeachment.
Peter Mellado is a writer, producer, and a branding and messaging specialist with over 15 years experience. He studied history at San Jose State University, and resides in Los Angeles.