Though he has never served in the military, Donald Trump is very fond of saluting, even when the situation doesn’t call for it. As the media has noticed this habit, they have likened him to Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, who has been dubbed “Trump of the Tropics.”
Business Insider says that the public has drawn the comparison between the two bombastic leaders who are prone to “inflammatory rhetoric.”
Today the press noticed that Bolsonaro is displaying another similarity to Trump, as he saluted National Security Advisor John Bolton before leading him into a meeting with his advisors.
The newly elected Brazilian president says he plans to align his policies with Trump and looks forward to accepting an invitation to visit Washington, D.C.
Bolton agrees that Trump and the Brazilian leader are “like-minded.”
“[We] enjoyed a wide-ranging, very productive discussion and look forward to a dynamic partnership.”
But the similarity that social media has pointed out is the awkward greetings, handshakes, and salutes both men give when greeting foreign leaders.
In the annals of Trump’s most awkward greeting moments, the U.S. president’s meeting with a North Korean general at a summit in Singapore in June comes to mind.
— Elizabeth Smith (@SmithMadchen863) November 28, 2018
The video of the incident was played over and over again on news shows and on Twitter.
“In that encounter, featured in a documentary produced by North Korean state media, Trump makes his way down a row of North Korean officials shaking hands before reaching the country’s defense chief, Gen. No Kwang Chol, who offered Trump a salute as the U.S. president stuck out his hand. The two then reversed their gestures, with Trump returning a salute, as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un looked on.”
Trump took a lot of criticism for showing someone in the North Korean military that level of respect, with various news sources reminding him that we are still technically at war with the isolated country known for human rights violations.
Trump is practicing his "YES SIR" salute for Putin pic.twitter.com/DgWChU67AN
— Robert Voltaire (@BraveNewtWorld) November 29, 2018
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Trump, saying that it was “a common courtesy when a military official from another government salutes, that you return that.”
Active military members are required to salute a U.S. president, as he is technically at the top of their chain of command, but there is no rule that requires a president to salute in return. Ronald Reagan used to always return a salute, but he had served in the U.S. Air Force.
Twitter continues to poke fun at Trump, suggesting that he would salute anything.
“Just when you think it couldn’t get crazier, just remember Trump saluting a North Korean general. He would salute a cockroach on a breadbox run.”