Donald Trump bragged about himself to the United Nations. The UN laughed.

President Donald Trump's touting of how his administration has accomplished more than any -- yes, any -- pas...

Posted: Sep 26, 2018 6:52 AM
Updated: Sep 26, 2018 6:52 AM

President Donald Trump's touting of how his administration has accomplished more than any -- yes, any -- past administration in its first two years is one of his most consistent applause lines in his campaign patter.

"I don't believe there has been any administration in the history of this country that has done more in two years -- and we're not even up to two years yet -- than our administration," Trump said last week during a campaign speech in Las Vegas -- while reading a literal paper list of those accomplishments.

Donald Trump

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government organizations - Intl

Political Figures - US

United Nations

US federal government

White House

"Nobody has done what this administration has done in terms of getting things passed and getting things through," he told a group of sheriffs earlier this month.

His supporters love the line: Despite all of the losers and haters, Trump is MAGA-ing!

Which brings us to Tuesday morning -- and Trump's speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

"In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country," Trump said, as he does.

"So true," said Trump, clearly caught by surprise by the laughter. "I didn't expect that reaction, but that's OK," he added to more laughter and some applause.

Here's the moment:

Before we go any further let me be clear: I wasn't in the room. I was watching it live on TV from Washington. But, watching on television, the perception of those few seconds was clear: The gathered world leaders -- or at least some of them -- were laughing at Trump's contention that he had done more in two years than any previous American administration ever.

Which makes some sense given that the claim seems, on its face ridiculous. There was Abraham Lincoln's management of the Civil War, Ulysses Grant's stewardship of the country through Reconstruction, Woodrow Wilson's work to repair the world community following World War I, Truman's work to do the same post-World War II, Ronald Reagan's steering of the country though the Cold War ... I mean, the list goes on and on.

And it dwarfs Trump's accomplishments which, at least on the world stage, are at best incomplete at the moment. From his decision to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Accords to his trade fight with China, we simply don't know what Trump's policies will mean in the light of history.

That Trump was taken aback by the laughter is telling, too.

It's possible that he believed they were laughing with him when, at least to my watching/listening, they were laughing at him -- or at least at his grandiose claim. His response -- "I didn't expect that reaction, but that's OK" -- and the smile on his face when he said it suggests Trump simply was (is?) unaware of what the laughter almost certainly meant.

As does his comment later in the day when asked about the laughter. "Oh it was great," Trump said about the reaction from the assembled world leaders. "Well that was meant to get some laughter, but it was great." He did it all on purpose!

The truth of Trump's life in office -- and this is true for lots of presidents but even more true for him -- is that he simply doesn't come face-to-face with very many people who disagree with him about much of anything. Trump's MO is to surround himself with blood relatives and people who accommodate his moods, proclivities and views. He lives in a bubble of his own making, and has done so long before he became President or even a candidate for president. He's just not used to people who aren't paid to tell him what he is saying is right. All the time.

It's also possible that he was just covering in the moment, that playing it all off was the insta-calculation Trump made in his head to defuse the situation as much as possible. If that's the case, you can be sure that Trump will be stewing about the moment. Remember that Trump has repeatedly mentioned how bothered he was by other countries laughing at the United States before he was President.

"The world is laughing at us," he would say on the campaign trail, referring to the policies of then-President Barack Obama.

"We don't want other leaders and other countries laughing at us anymore,' Trump said last June "And they won't be. They won't be."

All of that history means that if Trump understood what the world leaders were really laughing at, he's likely to take to Twitter sometime in the not-too-distant future to clap back.

Either way, it was a remarkable moment in a presidency that has been full of them.

Terre Haute
Overcast
35° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 26°
Robinson
Overcast
35° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 23°
Indianapolis
Overcast
31° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 17°
Rockville
Overcast
30° wxIcon
Hi: 35° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 17°
Casey
Overcast
33° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 21°
Brazil
Overcast
35° wxIcon
Hi: 35° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 26°
Marshall
Overcast
35° wxIcon
Hi: 36° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 26°
Cloudy, chance of evening showers.
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

Monday Afternoon Weather

Image

All You Need to Know for Monday

Image

Monday: Rain/snow mix, windy, chilly. High: 36°

Image

Sunday Evening Forecast

Image

Scam Alert: Fake vaccine trials

Image

Bridgeton Country Christmas continues

Image

Safety rules in place at local tree farm

Image

Police search for attempted armed robber

Image

$5,000 grant supports trail project

Image

Winter Precipitation Explainer

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 720114

Reported Deaths: 12882
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook3042206595
DuPage45087788
Will38684563
Lake37299631
Kane31767467
Winnebago18948262
Madison14379255
McHenry14269156
St. Clair13410259
Champaign1079858
Sangamon1015799
Peoria9147133
Kankakee8636103
Rock Island8612135
McLean848954
Tazewell6835104
Macon6517132
Kendall626947
LaSalle6108134
DeKalb499047
Adams473548
Vermilion391551
Boone390733
Whiteside3743115
Williamson361083
Clinton330861
Coles329859
Ogle285037
Knox280766
Grundy277618
Effingham277021
Henry270015
Jackson268536
Marion248551
Stephenson246635
Randolph226826
Livingston224527
Macoupin223218
Morgan220936
Bureau211643
Monroe207545
Franklin204825
Lee201034
Christian189443
Jefferson187859
Woodford175827
Fayette170931
Logan170113
Iroquois169326
McDonough158241
Fulton146012
Shelby137426
Douglas135416
Jersey127224
Union118228
Montgomery115519
Crawford112213
Saline111625
Perry110223
Warren109020
Jo Daviess107617
Carroll107024
Lawrence107011
Bond104810
Pike101427
Cass96423
Hancock95612
Wayne90833
Moultrie89810
Clay84020
Greene82831
Edgar80815
Clark79820
Piatt7835
Richland78019
Ford75222
Mercer74510
Mason72120
Johnson7136
Washington7002
Jasper64411
Cumberland61416
White6148
De Witt61317
Massac5993
Wabash5708
Menard4661
Pulaski4132
Marshall4066
Hamilton3873
Brown3224
Henderson2891
Schuyler2711
Stark2683
Alexander2562
Calhoun2470
Putnam2430
Scott2310
Edwards2263
Gallatin1913
Unassigned1850
Hardin1551
Pope1011
Out of IL100

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 333312

Reported Deaths: 5685
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion45371865
Lake28722469
Allen19325304
Elkhart17945235
St. Joseph17599237
Hamilton14061171
Vanderburgh10280127
Tippecanoe920230
Porter873389
Johnson6973170
Hendricks6674158
Vigo637392
Monroe560850
Madison5410122
Clark540478
Delaware5184103
LaPorte492897
Kosciusko480741
Howard379478
Bartholomew347365
Warrick343073
Wayne340985
Floyd334978
Marshall317946
Cass307931
Grant295450
Hancock286957
Noble269347
Henry262837
Boone261955
Dubois249632
Dearborn238231
Jackson235534
Morgan228743
Gibson201229
Shelby199859
Knox196621
DeKalb190234
Clinton189222
Lawrence187949
Wabash181122
Miami176817
Adams176223
Daviess165845
Fayette157634
Steuben156415
Jasper155913
Montgomery154629
Harrison154124
Ripley151521
LaGrange150631
Whitley146815
Huntington140210
Decatur137144
Putnam134828
White134823
Wells134630
Clay132724
Randolph132622
Jefferson131316
Posey127718
Scott118921
Greene109053
Sullivan105016
Jay104414
Jennings97814
Starke96624
Spencer9078
Fulton88619
Perry86421
Fountain8608
Washington8387
Franklin75727
Carroll73713
Orange71828
Vermillion6867
Owen6598
Tipton62727
Parke6226
Rush5918
Newton58812
Blackford57312
Pike54020
Pulaski44215
Benton3843
Martin3826
Brown3705
Crawford3221
Union2862
Switzerland2725
Warren2653
Ohio2437
Unassigned0267