Donald Trump knows his Twitter... mostly. While he may be savvy at sending out wild messages in 240 characters or less, clearly he has a way to go when it comes to understanding pop culture. In case you needed any evidence, check out President Donald Trump's Game Of Thrones meme about sanctions. I think I'm being generous when I say it's probably not sending the message he was intending.
On Friday, Nov. 2, Trump tweeted out an attempt at a meme that was a clear attempt to riff on the wildly popular HBO show Game of Thrones and one of its taglines, which reads, "Winter Is Coming." Trump shared an image of himself in front of a blurry background reminiscent of '90s glamour portraits, over which lay the text — in Game of Thrones' font — "Sanctions Are Coming," with the date Nov. 5. Elite Daily reached out to the White House and HBO for comment on the tweet, but did not immediately hear back.
The meme was apparently in reference to his announcement on Friday that his administration would be reinstating all sanctions on Iran, to take effect on Monday, Nov. 5. The newly reimposed sanctions are following the U.S. withdrawal from the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal, in which the United States and its allies lifted economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for Iran's agreement not to pursue nuclear weapons.
In a statement to CNBC, HBO said it was not aware of Trump's tweet. "We were not aware of this messaging and would prefer our trademark not be misappropriated for political purposes," the statement said. Elite Daily reached out to HBO and the White House for comment on HBO's statement but did not hear back by the time of publication.
Except, uh — has Trump or whoever photoshopped this meme ever watched the show? "Winter Is Coming" is not meant to be a positive, or even powerful statement, but rather a pessimistic warning that hard times are coming and if people don't work together for the common good, we risk disaster. It's not exactly a great thing to reference in terms of unilaterally pulling out of a multinational deal to limit nuclear weapons, an action that some critics warned could have disastrous effects.
Also, it's not really a great look for any politician. While it's set in a fantasy kingdom, a major theme of Game of Thrones is how political power struggles and infighting have decimated the country and left the average citizen at risk, while political leaders' dismissal of the increasing risk of a weather-related disaster could mean the end of the world. Oh, and there are dragons.
On social media, people ripped Trump's tweet.
Jokes and memes aside, the future of the Iran deal has some major implications on the global stage. The U.S. sanctions that will go into effect on Monday will focus on shipping, shipbuilding, finance, and energy, and are intended to hit the heart of the Iranian economy, according to the BBC. The sanctions will affect countries that import Iranian oil, as well as firms which do business with "blacklisted" Iranian entities, per the Associated Press. It also creates a foreign policy conundrum — because other U.S. allies such as France, the United Kingdom, and Germany have remained in the deal, the U.S.' exit has created international tension on the economic and political front.
So, in short, the only thing that could make it more complicated is dragons. (We don't have dragons yet, do we?!) In 2018, anything feels possible.