Donald Trump lashed out at a reporter who asked about his referring to himself as the “chosen one,” with the president saying it was “fake news” for the journalist to ask the question.
The incident took place on Friday as Trump was preparing to depart for a meeting of world leaders, coming after a week in which the president made a series of remarks drawing criticism and questions about his mental health. Earlier in the week, Trump had declared himself “the chosen one” to take on China in a trade war that Trump said should have been waged under previous administrations. As The Hill noted, Trump appeared to insinuate that he had been chosen by God to carry out the trade war.
“Somebody had to do it. I am the chosen one,” Trump said as he looked up to the sky. “Somebody had to do it, so I took on China. I took on China on trade, and you know what? We’re winning.”
The remarks came not long after Trump had taken to Twitter to quote a conspiracy theorist who called the president the “second coming of God” to Israeli Jews. Trump had stirred controversy earlier that day be saying that Jews who voted for Democrats were disloyal, and quoted conspiracy theorist Wayne Allyn Root who defended Trump be saying he was beloved by Jews in Israel.
When Trump was asked about his “chosen one” remark by a reporter on Friday as he was preparing to depart for France for the G-7 Summit, he took aim at the reporter for asking it.
“You know exactly what I meant. It was sarcasm. It was joking, we were all smiling. And a question like that is just fake news,” Trump said in remarks to reporters at the White House.
But Trump could not avoid scrutiny for his remarks, with those on both sides of the aisle criticizing the remarks and some questioning the president’s mental health. Noted psychiatrist Dr. Lance Dodes, the former assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School who contributed to the book The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, said that Trump’s remarks were concerning. Appearing on MSNBC, Dodes said that the statements appeared to show that Trump was in a “psychotic-like state.”
An old video in which Donald Trump dodges questions about the Bible is going viral again in light of the president’s recent claim that he is the “chosen one.” https://t.co/qFKkh5QvYy— HuffPost (@HuffPost) August 23, 2019
Others accused Trump of trying to play into the emotions of religious supporters by suggesting that he had the support of a higher power in his administration. This came at the same time a resurfaced video showed Trump struggling to name a favorite Bible verse when asked which was his favorite. As The Huffington Post noted, Trump once said that the Bible was his favorite book, but did not appear familiar with the religious text in the 2015 interview.