Speaking to reporters about US-China relations during the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Wednesday, Trump spoke about the success of his trade policy of slapping 25 percent tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods, before unexpectedly steering the conversation into a discussion of his own mental capabilities.
"I think [President Xi is] a friend of mine, he may not be a friend of mine anymore, but I think he probably respects – from what I hear, if you look at Mr. Pillsbury, the leading authority on China, he was on a good show, I won't mention the name of the show, recently, and he was saying that China has total respect for Donald Trump and for Donald Trump's very, very large brain. He said Donald Trump, they don't know what to do – never happened," Trump said.
The Mr. Pillsbury in question is believed to be Michael Pillsbury, a China analyst at Hudson Institute, a Washington-based think tank.
On Twitter, the "very, very large brain" remark proved just too much to handle, with users comparing the president to "a mental patient off his meds," accusing him of being high, and flooding the microblogging site with pop culture memes.
Trump: “China has total respect for Donald Trump & for Donald Trump’s very very large ah brain” Trump’s press conference is like watching a mental patient off his meds #TrumpPressConference #brain #kavanaugh #Swetnick #Blasey #mueller Cohen is going to jail because of Avenatti pic.twitter.com/aVw1QDhWDJ— Chinch 🖤 (@Chinchuleen) 26 сентября 2018 г.
Who’s watching Trump’s press conference? He called a Kurdish reporter “Mr. Kurd” and said “China respects Donald Trump’s large brain.” Is he having his stroke in installments? 🤔😳— Carolyn Hinsey (@CarolynHinsey) 26 сентября 2018 г.
do trump’s supporters really buy it when he claims the president of a foreign country would use the words “very large brain” to describe someone?— gen dietzel (@gendietzel) 27 сентября 2018 г.
if I turned a sentence like that into my 6th grade english teacher she would’ve given me a D at best.
Others simply couldn't get over the name of the China specialist.
"Mr. Pillsbury" said Trump has a large brain. Um, ok. pic.twitter.com/CmNhPJr6uV— Carrie Gallagher (@lovablemarketer) 26 сентября 2018 г.
LOST IN TRANSLATION Have your heard Donald Trump bragging about Mr. Pillsbury saying the Chinese thinks he has a very, very large brain? Unbeknown to Trump, the word "Brain" is a Chinese euphemism for "ego"! pic.twitter.com/lTUUt62ayA— Allen Kimble, Jr. (@allen_kimble) 26 сентября 2018 г.
Some users suggested it may be time to bring out the 25th Amendment of the US Constitution, which allows for the removal of a president from office in the event that impairment prevents him from fulfilling his duties. A few also complained that comments like this give the world more cause to "laugh at" the US.
That news conference was a train wreck! I think this could be used as a great justification for the #25thAmendmentNow @realDonaldTrump could not stay on topic, did not comprehend questions asked and said he had “a really large brain”. Not feeling very confident in his abilities.— LauraInArizona (@Lfran119) 26 сентября 2018 г.
Just when you think the world is done laughing at us, Trump gives a press conference. With his very large brain.— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) 26 сентября 2018 г.
Finally, others questioned their own sanity, and whether they really heard the president utter such remarks or were living in some sort of dream state.
Ummmm….do we really think that the president of China said on a food show that @realDonaldTrump as a really big brain? Can someone get me the pill that makes me taller so I can leave Alice in Wonderland and come back to real life?— Steve Kerrigan (@stevekerrigan) 26 сентября 2018 г.
The president's habit of self-aggrandizement has long become a staple of both domestic and international politics. During his speech to world leaders at the UN this week, Trump's boasting about his administration accomplishing "more than almost any administration in the history of our country" sparked audible laughter from the audience.