Trump Mocked in Viral Trend After Saying He 'Spent a Lot of Time' at Ground Zero
It was, however, the first time it sparked a viral meme — in this case, tweets that jokingly inserted Trump into various historical happenings of which he was most definitely not a part.
The president, 73, prompted the backlash at the White House as he signed a bill into law reauthorizing health care funding and other compensation for Sept. 11, 2001, responders, victims and their families.
“Many of those affected were firefighters, police officers and other first responders,” he told the crowd, which included more than 60 responders and their families. “And I was down there also, but I’m not considering myself a first responder. But I was down there. I spent a lot of time down there with you.”
It’s not the first time Trump has inserted himself into the tragic day’s events, despite skepticism about the true scope of his involvement.
Richard Alles, a retired New York Fire Department deputy chief who attended Monday’s event, told the New York Times he “never witnessed” Trump at ground zero in the many months he spent there.
“He was a private citizen at the time. I don’t know what kind of role he could have possibly played,” Alles said.
“Being down there surveying the damage is also not the same as standing on that pile of debris, as first responders who got sick did, day after day,” New York Times White House reporter Maggie Haberman wrote on Twitter. “I have no memory of Trump talking about first responders or victims’ relatives; if it happened, I hope someone can show when it was.”
Trump’s statement prompted a viral stream of tweets, all under the hashtag #LostTrumpHistory. (White House spokespeople did not respond to a request for comment.)
The trend launched thanks to user @JoJoFromJerz, who jokingly revealed the little-known “fact” that Trump was actually the first aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
The hashtag soon took off, with JoJo’s encouragement to share similarly fabricated accomplishments being echoed by George Conway, a longtime Trump critic and the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway.
Trump critics online had a field day inserting him into various historical events, such as the moon landing, World War II and even the 1986 World Series.
“He stormed the beaches of Normandy and took out three German bunkers with a golf club,” one user wrote, sharing a 2006 photo of Trump climbing to the green at Pebble Beach with a McDonald’s soda photoshopped in.
Another Photoshopped him into Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper, joking, “Trump hosted the Last Supper & made Jesus pay for it.”
The president was even photoshopped into a Civil War painting along with the joke, “The One where Trump Saved the Day at the Bowling Green Massacre.”
“Bowling Green Massacre” was a dig at Kellyanne, who mentioned the made-up incident in multiple interviews in 2017.
Her husband retweeted many of the tweets and even contributed a #LostTrumpHistory of his own, writing, “In 2019, astronomer Donald Trump discovered that the Moon was a part of Mars.”
George Conway has become an ever-more-vocal Trump detractor, assailing his moral character and mental health.
“Has America ever witnessed a bigger pathological liar?” he tweeted this week. “Virtually every day, often multiple times a day, easily disprovable lies. And utterly pointless ones. It’s a sickness.”