President Trump once dubbed himself a “very stable genius,” but his unusual statements this week, in person and on Twitter, have garnered a lot of attention. Some of his words were, at best, ill-advised. Some observers of the controversial, divisive president are wondering whether the statements are a sign of something worse.
Here’s a roundup, compiled from Globe wire services and major media reports, of some of the things Trump has said that people are talking about:
He ‘ordered’ companies to stop making products in China
Trump on Friday tweeted that he “hereby ordered” American companies to start looking for alternatives to making products in China. It wasn’t immediately clear what Trump meant, as the president doesn’t have the legal authority to force such corporate decisions. #IHerebyOrder began trending on Twitter.
Trump also tweeted that he was “ordering all carriers,” including FedEx, Amazon, UPS, and the US Postal Service to “SEARCH FOR & REFUSE, all deliveries of Fentanyl from China (or anywhere else!).” Again, it wasn’t clear what authority he had to implement such an order, CNBC reported.
Trump generally lambasted China, which is in a trade war with the United States, saying, “We don’t need China” and that the United States would be “better off without them.” The stock market fell after his remarks.
He joked that the Dow’s fall was caused by Massachusetts Congressman Seth Moulton
Moulton dropped out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination Friday. As the markets dropped, Trump apparently trolled Moulton, with a tweet suggesting the markets were dropping because of his announcement.
The Dow is down 573 points perhaps on the news that Representative Seth Moulton, whoever that may be, has dropped out of the 2020 Presidential Race!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2019
He attacked his Fed chairman as an ‘enemy’
Trump also took aim at the Federal Reserve over what he has called its failure to lower interest rates to boost the economy and keep the dollar from becoming too strong, which weighs on exports. He slammed Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell in his tweets, saying, “My only question is, who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?” referring to President Xi Jinping of China. He misspelled Powell’s name as “Powel” initially, but then corrected it.
He got angry at the reaction to his idea of buying Greenland
After reports emerged last week that Trump had pushed bewildered top aides to investigate whether the United States could buy Greenland, Trump seemed to lighten up with a humorous tweet about it Monday.
Greenland is part of the Kingdom of Denmark. After the prime minister of Denmark rejected the idea as “absurd,” Trump on Tuesday tweeted that he had decided to cancel a planned visit to Denmark.
Denmark is a very special country with incredible people, but based on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting scheduled in two weeks for another time....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2019
....The Prime Minister was able to save a great deal of expense and effort for both the United States and Denmark by being so direct. I thank her for that and look forward to rescheduling sometime in the future!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2019
He later followed up in a press availability, saying Mette Frederiksen’s comments were “nasty.”
He said Jews who are Democrats are ‘disloyal’
Trump on Tuesday said that Jewish people who vote for Democrats are showing ‘‘either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty,’’ prompting an outcry from a wide range of critics.
Trump’s use of the word “disloyalty” was at best ill-advised because it echoed anti-Semitic tropes accusing Jews of dual allegiances, critics said.
“American Jews — like all Americans — have a range of political views and policy priorities,” David Harris, chief executive of the nonpartisan American Jewish Committee, said in a statement. “His assessment of their knowledge or ‘loyalty,’ based on their party preference, is inappropriate, unwelcome, and downright dangerous.”
Trump did not say on Tuesday whom Democratic Jews were supposedly disloyal to.
On Wednesday, he expanded on his remarks, saying Jewish people who vote for Democrats are “very disloyal to Israel.”
“I think if you vote for a Democrat, you are very, very disloyal to Israel and to the Jewish people,” he said in an exchange with reporters.
He tweeted a quote calling him the ‘King of Israel’
Trump on Wednesday tweeted a quote from non-Jewish conservative radio host, who called him the “King of Israel” and said that Israeli Jews “love him like he is the second coming of God.”
“Thank you to Wayne Allyn Root for the very nice words. “President Trump is the greatest President for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world, not just America, he is the best President for Israel in the history of the world...and the Jewish people in Israel love him....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 21, 2019
....like he’s the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God...But American Jews don’t know him or like him. They don’t even know what they’re doing or saying anymore. It makes no sense! But that’s OK, if he keeps doing what he’s doing, he’s good for.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 21, 2019
He referred to himself as ‘the chosen one’
Trump later Wednesday struck a messianic note as he defended his trade war with China.
“This is a trade war that should have taken place a long time ago by a lot of other presidents,” he said.
“Somebody had to do it,” he said. He then looked to the sky and intoned, “I am the chosen one.”
“Somebody had to do it,” he continued. “So I’m taking on China. I’m taking on China on trade, and you know what? We’re winning.”