The word "deplorable" is back in the news after a surprising exchange between President Trump and his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in, at the U.N. on Thursday

By Tierney McAfee
September 21, 2017 01:34 PM
Evan Vucci/AP

The word “deplorable” is back in the news after a surprising exchange between President Trump and his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in, at the U.N. on Thursday.

While discussing the rising tensions between his country and North Korea, Moon said, with the help of a translator, that “North Korea has continued to make provocations, and this is extremely deplorable.”

In response, Trump quipped that he was “very happy you used the word deplorable. I was very interested in that word.

“I promise I did not tell him to use that word,” he added to laughs from Vice President Mike Pence and others in the room. “That’s been a very lucky word for me and many millions of people.”

Trump was referencing 2016 rival Hillary Clinton’s campaign-season gaffe in which she said that half of Trump’s supporters fit in a “basket of deplorables.” The comment, which came less than two months before Election Day, was widely criticized, with some political analysts even wondering later whether it could have played a role in Clinton’s unexpected loss. The moniker was also co-opted by the Trump campaign and his supporters, who continue to wear the nickname like a badge of honor.

Clinton wrote in her new campaign memoir What Happened that her use of the word was a regrettable “political gift” to Trump.

On Wednesday, Trump also made headlines — and social media hit lists — when he mistakenly referred to the African nation of Namibia as “Nambia” in a speech at the U.N.

“Nambia’s health system is increasingly self-sufficient,” Trump said at a working luncheon with African leaders. Earlier, he could also be heard mentioning the nonexistant Nambia in his opening remarks.

The White House later clarified in an official transcript that the president was referring to Namibia, a country in southwest Africa. But by then, the mocking tweets were already rolling in.

And on Tuesday, the president made waves when, in his first speech at the U.N., he called North Korean leader Kim Jong-un a “rocket man on a suicide mission” and threatened to “totally destroy” the East Asian country.

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“Rocket man” was trending on Twitter after the speech, with many users cracking Elton John-inspired jokes.

The moment also inspired Late Show host Stephen Colbert to do a sketch on a Kim Jong-un parody album featuring such songs as “Hold Me Closer Tiny Hand Sir,” “Combover in the Wind,” “Saturday Night’s Alright for Golfin’ ” and “Someone Change My Wife Tonight.”

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