As he often does with the simplest of gestures or phrases, Donald Trump on Monday prompted fears over his diplomatic efforts, this time by feeding fishes with the graceless ease that only he appears to be capable of.
The presidential-level ineptitude was seemingly apparent in a multitude of meme’s showing Trump pouring the lion’s share of his allocated fish food into a koi pond in a single swoop, rather than delicately spooning it into the pond, like his host, Japan leader Shinzo Abe did.
Abe: This is an ancient practice in the Zen tradition. We feed the fish with mindfulness and compassion. Trump, moaning: pic.twitter.com/Oh80u7TXmd
November 6, 2017
“Nobody knew you could dump the entire box of fish food until I did it.” – Trump at joint press conference, later today, probably https://t.co/z8Fnc7IycK
Our only hope is that Donald Trump exercises greater control over our nuclear arsenal than he does a box of fish food.
trump was told this was batter and that dumping the box in is how you make fish sticks pic.twitter.com/z282t5undB
Abe’s face as Trump dumps out the fish food – need a name for that “look at this fucking guy” foreign leader face.
“While his host, prime minister Shinzo Abe, sprinkles small spoonfuls, Trump dumps entire box of fish food into precious Japanese koi pond.” pic.twitter.com/4FfBLvxwBw
November 6, 2017
In the land of minimalist perfection and patience… ??? https://t.co/ygdym7pZ01
Trump refuses to feed the fish properly until Japanese automakers start making their cars in the US. pic.twitter.com/HE3ck63m9Q
Naturally, the media seized upon’s Trump apparent clumsiness, quickly harvesting the necessary online mockery to provide the wider-social and political context of the fish food gaffe, while also highlighting the potential fatal consequences for those being fed.
Even the AFP news agency, which shot the pool footage, pointed out that his fish-feeding technique had caused a frenzy of “social media” outrage.
Feeding a frenzy: Trump sparks social media outrage after dumping box of fish food into pond of Japanese koi carp https://t.co/W9co9ajVJj pic.twitter.com/hRF5Uc5kW3 — AFP news agency (@AFP) November 6, 2017
Problem is, the criticism of Trump isn’t entirely fair.
And this wasn’t lost on a few of his fans who responded to media reports with one of the president’s favourite catchphrases – “fake news”.
This is the state of liberal journalism — LYING about how Trump fed a bunch of fish.@christinawilkie is the journalist this time. LOSER! pic.twitter.com/jf6sWZ226s — Brett Mac (@TweetBrettMac) November 6, 2017
Trump didn’t become “impatient” as the media claims. PM Abe dumped the fish food first. Folks in the media are beyond petty. pic.twitter.com/GhZGIX0JbA
November 6, 2017
So Trump did exactly what the Japanese PM did – but is getting ridiculed for it? Nice work, Twitter. https://t.co/Vak6pVl7In
Come on Yashar, I’m a big fan but this is nonsense.. Abe did it first. https://t.co/ZoKYg8E54g
Yes, it’s why Trump has a valid point about the way even serious media treat him. https://t.co/G34ESiTBQ7
While most of the video clips of the feeding scene were short clips and zoomed in to capture Trump’s golden goof, a longer clip of proceedings shows that after both leaders spooned food into the pond it was Abe who emptied his box, in one final flourish, before Trump followed suit several seconds later.