Glug

So now Trump is in a snit because everyone isn’t running around squawking about what a brilliant job he did of making “Asia” our new best friend. He channeled his rage into giving a long speech to instruct us about how awesome he was and how deeply “Asia” now adores us thanks to his awesome amazing very very tremendous work.

This was Trump playing his own hype man. He felt like the Asia trip went well and he wasn’t getting enough credit for exactly how well it went. So, why not give a speech and force the “fake news” to cover it?

From his opening statement onward, it was clear that Trump’s lone goal with the speech was to pat himself on the back. Repeatedly.

Here’s how the speech started:

“Last night I returned from a historic 12-day trip to Asia. This journey took us to five nations to meet with dozens of foreign leaders, participate in three formal state visits and attend three key regional summits. It was the longest visit to the region by an American president in more than a quarter of a century. Everywhere we went our foreign hosts greeted the American delegation, myself included, with incredible warmth, hospitality, and most importantly, respect. And this great respect showed very well our country is further evidence that America’s renewed confidence and standing in the world has never been stronger than it is right now.”

God he’s dumb. He mistakes the normal diplomatic niceties for everyone having a crush on him.

Trump’s emphasis on not only solving America’s image problems but doing so very, very quickly was a theme throughout his Asia trip. In a press conference aboard Air Force One while flying in Vietnam over the weekend, here are few of the things Trump claimed credit for:

  • “Prime Minister Abe came up to me just at the end and he said that since you left South Korea and Japan that those two countries are now getting along much much better.”
  • “There’s been a real bonding between South Korea and Japan.”
  • “They say in the history of people coming to China, there’s been nothing like that and I believe it.” (This was about Trump dining with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Forbidden City — the first time a US president has dined there since the founding of modern China.)
  • “It’s the biggest state entrance and the biggest state dinner they’ve ever had. By far.” (Again, China.)

Trump is someone who needs his successes — real or imagined — acknowledged.

The Guardian is not all that impressed either.

Trump did not mention that during his tour, 11 US allies had decided to move ahead with the creation the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade zone without US involvement, following the president’s withdrawal in March.

Richard Haass, the president of Council on Foreign Relations, said in a tweet that Trump “claims to have established a new framework for trade in Asia when the reality is that the US has placed itself outside the best available framework for trade in the region.”

“The country will pay an enormous economic, strategic price as a result,” Haass said.

But at least he comported himself with dignity for once.

Lacking any real news, Trump’s speech prompted more headlines for an awkward pause in which the president reached for a sip of water. He twice stopped mid-speech to quench his thirst, drawing instant comparisons to the viral moment in 2013 when Florida senator Marco Rubio made headlines with a desperate lunge for an out-of-shot water bottle while delivering the formal Republican response to Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.

Trump chided Rubio at the time, tweeting: “Next time Marco Rubio should drink his water from a glass as opposed to a bottle – would have much less negative impact.”

Trump takes an awkward sip of water during his speech.

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