We’ll admit it: Donald Trump is extremely good at giving insulting nicknames to his enemies. Especially enemies who used to be friends, like former chief advisor Steve Bannon.
Bannon fell afoul of his former boss after excerpts from Michael Wolff’s book “Fire and Fury” quoted him at length dissing Trump and his family (including calling Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer at Trump Tower in 2016 “treasonous”). Trump already said Bannon “not only lost his job, he lost his mind” after the comments went public. And late Thursday he went further, dismissing Wolff as a liar and granting Bannon a nickname he’s probably going to be stuck with for the next three years:
I authorized Zero access to White House (actually turned him down many times) for author of phony book! I never spoke to him for book. Full of lies, misrepresentations and sources that don’t exist. Look at this guy’s past and watch what happens to him and Sloppy Steve!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2018
Whether Bannon is wincing at the new nickname, social media had a field day. America, it seems, was united in at least one thing: agreement that it’s a pretty good insult.
First, a breakdown of where “Sloppy Steve” fits in Trump nickname history — like this Dramatis Personae, just in case you need it:
Hillary Clinton – "Crooked Hillary"
Kim Jong Un – "Rocket Man"
Steve Bannon – "Sloppy Steve"
Elizabeth Warren – "Pocahontas"
Marco Rubio – "Little Marco"
Chuck Schumer – "Cryin' Chuck"
Jews – "Mother Fucking God Damn Dirty Jews"
— Matt Oswalt (@MattOswaltVA) January 5, 2018
Or for the more savvy-minded, how “Sloppy Steve” compares to classics like “Crooked Hillary” and “Rocket Man”:
Trump nicknames, ranked (best to worst):
Little Rocket Man
Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd
Cryin' Chuck Schumer
Low Energy Jeb
Failing New York Times
Liddle Bob Corker
— Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) January 5, 2018
In the hierarchy of Trump nicknames, I think "Sloppy Steve" is superior to "Crooked Hillary" but still not better than "Lyin' Ted."
— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) January 5, 2018
And let’s uh, let’s not forget he’s the President of the United States:
FDR: Only thing we have to fear is fear itself
JFK: Ask not what ur country will do for u. Ask what u will do for ur country
Reagan: Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall!
Flake the Flake
— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) January 5, 2018
Plenty of people had almost grudging respect for Donald’s latest punitive nickname:
As much as I hate to admit it, "Sloppy Steve" is branding gold. It's gonna stick.
— Jeff B (@EsotericCD) January 5, 2018
Gotta admit, Sloppy Steve is good. He has a real talent for catchy kindergarten insults.
— Helen Kennedy (@HelenKennedy) January 5, 2018
I'm still gonna call Steve Bannon "Sloppy Steve" tho
— Akilah Hughes (@AkilahObviously) January 5, 2018
We haven't had a good nickname in a while. Sloppy Steve is one for the books. https://t.co/VK1fg78h7F
— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) January 5, 2018
Steve Bannon says Donald Trump committed "treason"
Donald Trump says Steve Bannon should be named "Sloppy Steve"
For once I agree with both these dickheads
— Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) January 5, 2018
I think we can all endorse "Sloppy Steve" as Bannon's nickname. Uniting America for once! https://t.co/O6eDuw4jwE
— Josh Barro (@jbarro) January 5, 2018
"Sloppy Steve" pic.twitter.com/gYAdgQ9r30
— pourmecoffee (@pourmecoffee) January 5, 2018
I mean I kind of laughed when I saw Sloppy Steve, but I hated myself for it.
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) January 5, 2018
There’s this alternate definition, but for real, click at your own risk.
Of course, some people had fun at Trump’s expense:
Trump called Steve Bannon "Sloppy Steve". This, for the record, is how Trump drinks water. pic.twitter.com/smxFe6Vkop
— Pé Resists (@4everNeverTrump) January 5, 2018
Hey, Deceitful Donald!
You still awake?
Sloppy Steve is trending.
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) January 5, 2018
I don’t think Mike Pence is allowed to perform a Sloppy Steve unless Mother is present.
— Brandon Cloud (@theclobra) January 5, 2018
Meanwhile, Kumail Nanjiani had an idea:
A Sloppy Steve is just a Sloppy Joe made by a white supremacist.
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) January 5, 2018
So did Dana Loesch:
Sloppy Steve sounds like a Great Value version of Sloppy Joe.
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) January 5, 2018
Turns out, they’re half-right:
I straight-up just guessed a vegan recipe for a “Sloppy Steve” would exist and I was right pic.twitter.com/vo9hQ3sHtz
— julia reinstein (@juliareinstein) January 5, 2018
But as Rob Reiner reminds us, it’s Bannon’s move now:
Looks like the ball’s in Sloppy Steve’s court.
— Rob Reiner (@robreiner) January 5, 2018