During a press conference – albeit one in which no questions were allowed – in the White House Rose Garden with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Trump embarrassed the United States as he proudly brought up his social media following.
“I’m proud to announce to the media, to the American people and to the Indian people, that Prime Minister Modi and I are world leaders in social media.”
What Trump seems to overlook, of course, is that Prime Minister Modi and he are world leaders in charge of the first and seventh biggest economies on the planet. While his Twitter following may seem important to the President, perhaps he should save official press conferences for more pressing issues, such as climate change, an area on which Modi and former President Barack Obama forged a strong partnership. Trump’s decision to withdraw from the landmark Paris Agreement will undoubtedly strain that relationship.
Ahead of Modi’s visit, a senior White House official briefing reporters noted that “the two men have more social media followers than any world leaders on earth, making sure to point out that Trump is slightly ahead of Modi.” The comment goes to show, then, that Trump’s pettiness knows no borders, domestic nor international.
It is almost as if Trump goes out of his way to exaggerate his worst qualities. While Modi’s government can boast a 77 percent approval rating in India, Trump’s dismal approval rating in the US is the direct result of his embarrassingly mismanaged priorities. It seems that the President of the United States and 16-year-olds reviewing makeup brands on YouTube are interested in the same thing: their follower count. Maybe he is a man of the people, after all– although not in the way Americans had hoped.
Brian Tyler Cohen is a political writer, actor, and comedy sketch director. He graduated from Lehigh University with a dual degree in English and Business. He currently lives in Los Angeles.