Donald Trump offered a pretty flimsy explanation Tuesday for the Russia-favoring remarks he made in Helsinki — and it had lots of people clowning him with the same classic gag from “The Simpsons.”
On Monday, Trump and Vladimir Putin took part in a joint press conference after their personal meeting, during which Trump was asked if he would rebuke Putin for Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Trump shocked the nation when he sided with Putin and against the conclusion by U.S. intelligence organizations that there was a coordinated social media and hacking campaign in 2016, and that Russia was involved.
“My people came to me… they said they think it’s Russia,” Trump said. “I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this. I don’t see any reason why it would be….”
But on Tuesday, after nearly a day of enormous criticism from across the political spectrum, including even segments of Fox News, Trump attempted “clarify” his remarks by claiming he actually meant the exact opposite. “I said the word ‘would’ instead of ‘wouldn’t’ and the sentence should have been: ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.’” Trump told reporters.
As you might expect, a great many people simply didn’t buy Trump’s line of defense, and they swarmed social media to mock it. Many goofed on his claim at misspeaking by citing a concept that children everywhere know extremely very well: “Opposite Day.”
"what if we just say it was opposite day"
"was it opposite day though?"
"hm, good point. [gets up to yell down the hall] YO CAN SOMEONE CHECK IF YESTERDAY WAS OPPOSITE DAY"
— Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) July 17, 2018
Others noted the apparent absurdity of the statement in its own context.
It can be so easy to forget a “not” at a crucial time, for instance in the sentence “I love you” or “There were very fine people on both sides here in Charlottesville.” https://t.co/k9z95X7DRD
— Alexandra Petri (@petridishes) July 17, 2018
"I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Clarification by Donald J. Trump: Where he said "will" he meant "won't."
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) July 17, 2018
I would say that I completely believe President Trump misspoke and that he has full faith and confidence in the members of our intelligence community and understands that Putin and Russia were fully responsible for intervening in our election.
Sorry. I meant wouldn’t.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) July 17, 2018
Still others imagined how such a thing would look said by pop culture characters.
"I misspoke yesterday." pic.twitter.com/o3mSN6CFt4
— Michael Okuda (@MikeOkuda) July 18, 2018
Of course, as with all things, there was also a reference to “The Simpsons” to be made — specifically this one, which a lot of people thought of:
I wasn’t saying boo, I was saying boo-urns https://t.co/mHH2nidQzc
— Otto Von Biz Markie (@Passionweiss) July 17, 2018
— Mark Leon Goldberg (@MarkLGoldberg) July 17, 2018