Donald Trump drew laughter from the United Nations General Assembly when he claimed that his administration was one of the most-accomplished in United States history, but Fox News viewers likely missed the mocking eruption to Trump’s speech.
On Tuesday, Trump delivered a speech that touted American exceptionalism, took aim at Iran, and pushed back against what he called the “ideology of globalism.” But as the Associated Press noted, the most talked-about moment came when Trump tried to brag about his administration’s accomplishments through one and a half years.
Trump claimed that in “less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country,” causing the assembly to burst out in laughter. Trump appeared taken aback by the laughter, saying, “I didn’t expect that reaction.”
For those following the speech through Fox News, they didn’t actually see the reaction. As Fast Company pointed out, the cable news network’s Twitter account cut off the clip before the laughter starts, leaving viewers only to see Trump’s boasts about his administration’s accomplishments. They also missed Trump’s flustered reply.
Fox's Twitter account clipped what Trump said immediately before AND immediately after the laughter.— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) September 25, 2018
The laughter appears in neither clip. https://t.co/ERLsut7DY2https://t.co/LFUUKuMA5m pic.twitter.com/1Kj5wO3e0Z
But many others didn’t believe him, and the moment of laughter from other world leaders made for attack fodder for Trump’s critics. Clips of the speech went viral on social media, with many calling it yet another embarrassment for Trump on the global stage.
But others believe that the embarrassing moment detracted from some of the more worrying bits of Trump’s speech, including his attacks on allies. As Nic Robertson of CNN noted in a post-speech analysis, Trump appeared to aim for divisiveness between the United States and all other nations and threatened to withdraw support for those countries not supporting America enough.
“And Trump made it clear he is happy to divide the world into nations he sees as his friends and those he sees as undeserving enemies: ‘We are taking a hard look at US foreign assistance… whether the countries who receive our dollars and protection also have our interests at heart. Moving forward, we are only going to give foreign aid to those who respect us and, frankly, are our friends.'”
The reaction from leaders in the UN General Assembly actually did not seem to bother Donald Trump too much. The president later brushed off the incident, telling reporters after the speech that the reply was “great” because he was aiming to get a laugh.