Everyone’s got their own recurring nightmare—naked in class, teeth falling out, whatever. For Donald Trump, that nightmare is that the world is laughing at the United States, and on Tuesday at the United Nations General Assembly, the nightmare came true.
The president’s public remarks are littered with warnings that America is, or might be, the butt of the globe’s jokes.
“The world is laughing at us,” Trump said on the stump in October 2016. “We don’t win at the borders. We don’t win with taking care of our vets. We don’t win with anything. We don’t win anymore. We will start winning again like you’ve never seen before.” He’s kept it up since entering office. “At what point does America get demeaned? At what point do they start laughing at us as a country?” he asked in June 2017. “The world is laughing at us. The world is laughing at the stupidity of what we have done with immigration,” he said in August.
Dozens of times since 2011, Trump has tweeted the word laughing, and even though that’s a fairly common word, the vast majority of the uses involve foreign countries (or groups like ISIS) laughing at the United States.
More recently, however, Trump has argued that the snickering is over.