We don’t know how to tell you this, but beloved U.S. American “president” Donald Trump has had two encounters with foreign leaders in the space of two days, and both of them were just a wee bit OMG AWKWARD.
Today, Friday, is St. Patrick’s Day (drink if you’re shamelessly pretending to be Irish!), but it was Thursday when the taoiseach (prime minister) of Ireland, Enda Kenny, stood with Donald Trump and proceeded to ‘splain him his business on the subject of immigration. Oh, and he did it so nicely! He told the story of St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, and also patron saint of (ahem Trump are you listening?) immigrants. It was beautiful. Trump just had to stand there and take it, probably silently wishing he was upstairs in the White House residence in his bathrobe with no underpants, watching “Fox & Friends.” You will want to watch this video:
“We were the wretched refuse on the teeming shore,” Irish prime minister says with Donald Trump in the room. pic.twitter.com/7jEfTVvIzE
— Barry Malone (@malonebarry) March 17, 2017
It’s fitting that we gather here each year to celebrate St. Patrick and his legacy. He too of course was an immigrant. And though he is, of course, the patron saint of Ireland, for many people around the globe he’s also a symbol of — indeed the patron of — immigrants.
Here in America, in your great country, 35 million people claim Irish heritage, and the Irish have contributed to the economic, social, political, and cultural life of this great country over the last 200 years. Ireland came to America because, deprived of liberty, deprived of opportunity, of safety, of even food itself, the Irish believed.
And four decades before Lady Liberty lifted her lamp, we were the wretched refuse on the teeming shore. We believed in the shelter of America, in the compassion of America, in the opportunity of America. We came and we became Americans. We lived the words of John F. Kennedy long before he uttered them: We asked not what America can do for us, but what we could do for America. And we still do.
What a wonderful message for Trump to hear! Of course, we bet his inner monologue was something like “I love the Irish. They’re tremendous. St. Patrick’s Day, green, so very green, it’s gonna be so green you’re gonna get tired of green. Leprechaun! I don’t even think of Irish people as immigrants or refugees, because they’re not brown. I don’t like brown people, they are not nice to Trump.” (As if Irish immigrants were treated SO well when they came to America generations ago. More on that over at GQ magazine!)
But still, what a nice message Prime Minister Kenny had! This, by the way, was the message, if you didn’t catch it:
In our second video, we are simply going to watch what happened today at the White House when German Chancellor Angela Merkel sat at the press pool spray with Trump, and how, as MSNBC’s Kyle Griffin notes, they didn’t talk to each other, they didn’t shake hands, they barely even LOOKED at each other.
No handshake. No talking to one another.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) March 17, 2017
This is a far cry from Merkel’s relationship with President Obama, which was so great that every time they appeared together, they basically played “Got yer nose!” and said inside jokes to each other for HOURS, before declaring their undying love for each other to whatever cameras and microphones were looking at them.