Donald Trump has a series of go-to phrases he likes to throw out into the ether.
One of them is “Nobody knows more” and is usually followed with “about [insert topical news item here] than I do”.
Another is the word “beautiful” – even if the things he’s talking about are objectively not beautiful. In fact, they can be downright awful.
From World Wars and weapons to healthcare bills and masks of his own face, Trump has tried to put a “beautiful” spin on the unthinkable.
So we’ve compiled a list of some of the worst.
1. ‘Beautiful World Wars’
Trump was discussing calls for him to change the names of army bases named after confederate generals.
For example, Fort Bragg is named after Confederate General Braxton Bragg – a man who fought to preserve slavery.
Speaking on the bases legacies, Trump said:
We won World Wars out of these fort bases. I’m not going to go changing them… We won two World Wars, two World Wars – beautiful World Wars – that were vicious and horrible.
2. Doctors and nurses fighting coronavirus like soldiers ‘running into bullets’
In March, Trump tried to compare doctors and nurses on the coronavirus frontlines to soldiers “running into bullets”.
[They’re] running into death just like soldiers running into bullets… it’s incredible to see. It’s a beautiful thing to see.
3. ‘Big, beautiful wall’
Back in June 2015 and after having just announced his run for the presidency, Trump declared:
I will build a great wall. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.
Since then, he’s continually referred to the wall between Mexico and the US as his “big, beautiful wall”.
Like when he was asked about the G20 and the UN in light of the global coronavirus pandemic and he ignored it to talk about his wall:
4. When he told Chinese president Xi about Syrian strikes
In 2017, Trump detailed how he discussed US missile attacks on Syria with China’s president Xi Jinping.
And it was while he was eating a “beautiful piece of chocolate cake”.
The POTUS said at the time:
I was sitting at the table. We had finished dinner. We are now having dessert. And we had the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake that you have ever seen. And President Xi was enjoying it.
So what happens is, I said we’ve just launched 59 missiles heading to Iraq, heading to Iraq [sic]… heading toward Syria and I want you to know that.
I didn’t want him to finish his dessert and go home … and then they say: ‘You know the guy you just had dinner with just attacked [Syria].’
5. ‘Beautiful sleeping gas’
While discussing the technique of stopping terrorist hijackings in airplanes during an interview with Howard Stern in 2001, Trump claimed:
You have a red button in the plane and the pilot has a huge problem in the back… He presses a button and sleeping gas comes out the entire back of the plane goes to sleep.
It's a beautiful sleeping gas – it puts people to sleep.
6. ‘Beautiful new healthcare bill’
After legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare was stalled in the Senate, Trump tried to assure people he’d have a new and improved system instead.
So he tweeted:
7. ‘Beautiful military equipment’
Describing his idea to sell weapons to Qatar in 2017, Trump said:
One of the things that we will discuss is the purchase of lots of beautiful military equipment because nobody makes it like the United States.
8. ‘Belgium is a beautiful city’
We’re absolutely not disputing that Belgium is beautiful.
Unfortunately, when Trump proclaimed during a 2016 rally in Atlanta, Georgia that “Belgium is a beautiful city”, he should probably know that Belgium is actually a country.
9. ‘Beautiful, clean coal’
If anyone needs a rebrand, it’s the coal industry and Trump really tried his hardest to give it one.
Describing his first seven months in office, the POTUS claimed:
We’ve ended the war on beautiful, clean coal.
It’s just been announced that a second, brand new coal mine, where they’re going to take out clean coal — meaning, they’re taking out coal. They’re going to clean it — is opening in the state of Pennsylvania, the second one.
10. ‘Beautiful American tax dollars’
In 2014, Trump tweeted about foreign aid spending in the US:
To be fair, Trump thinking money is beautiful isn't that surprising.
11. The phones in the White House
In 2017, Trump discussed the White House and the phones lying within it.
During a New York Times interview, he said of the White House:
It’s a beautiful residence, it’s very elegant.
Trump then turned his attention to the White House phones:
These are the most beautiful phones I’ve ever used in my life.
12. Dakota pipeline
After approving the final section of the underground water pipeline in Dakota in 2017, Trump remarked:
And you know when I approved it, it’s up and running, it’s beautiful, it’s great, everybody is happy, the sun is still shining, the water is clean.
If Trump thinks “everybody” is happy over the pipeline, he clearly hasn’t seen the protests from Native Americans and grassroots campaigners...
On the campaign trail in 2016, Trump brought a mask of his own face up on to the stage with him.
Holding it up to the crowd, he looked at it proudly and professed:
Look at this mask. Look at this mask. Oh wow. Wow, that’s beautiful. Look at that. Looks just like me.