President Donald Trump's coronavirus press briefing got out of hand on Monday, many viewers said, and "Trump Meltdown" was soon trending on Twitter. The press conference had one of the strongest responses yet, and even led many people to say that news outlets should not air the president's unscripted speeches anymore. The topic stayed at the top of Twitter's trending list well into Tuesday morning.
The hashtag "Trump Meltdown" was a big hit this week, with people all over the world remarking on the president's demeanor. A report by The Guardian called Monday's pres briefing "a presidential tantrum," and referred to Trump as a "self-pitying" "toddler." Trump's anger was spurred in part by a New York Times reporter this weekend, analyzing his slow response to the coronavirus pandemic. In answer to that and other, similar accounts in recent weeks, Trump spent Monday's conference insisting that he was doing a great job.
"So the story in the New York Times is a total fake, it's a fake newspaper and they write fake stories. And someday, hopefully in five years when I’m not here, those papers are all going out of business because nobody’s going to read them," the president said. The backlash to the press conference may have been bolstered by the viral chyrons at the bottom of CNN's coverage of the briefing. Some of the captions read: "Trump refuses to acknowledge any mistakes," "Trump uses task force briefing to try and rewrite history on coronavirus response," "Trump melts down in angry response to reports he ignored virus warnings" and "Angry Trump turns briefing into propaganda session."
All of this had ripple effects on social media, where the president faced some of the harshest criticism of the last four years. Here is a look at what Twitter had to say about the "Trump Meltdown" on Monday.
#TrumpMeltdown— looloo (@LooLoo92815185) April 14, 2020
When the president of the country which is 4% of the worlds population and accounts for 21% of the worlds covid19 deaths gets up on stage and shows a propaganda video of how he supposedly has done a great job pic.twitter.com/Mz9IWDg0oS
Many people took to social media in shock on Monday, hardly able to believe what they were seeing. If nothing else, they looked for confirmation that other viewers were as confused and angry as they were.
Others were angry at the president, prepared to meet his temper with their own. They tweeted direct responses to Trump's words in real-time, refuting his claims that he was generally handling the coronavirus pandemic well.
Dear People of America. As a citizen of the U.K you have my fullest sympathy. You too, have a shitshow of a leadership. Just to let you know that you are not alone. The one comfort you have is that you have the power to change it come November. We have 5 years yet. #TrumpMeltdown pic.twitter.com/j7jN68ijC7— ian campbell (@referee1965) April 14, 2020
Even people overseas were watching Trump's press conference on Monday, and they reached out to Americans with sympathy and solidarity. Some in the U.K. compared Trump with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and encouraged Americans to join them in voting new leaders in at the next election.
Dear America. Your President is batshit crazy. Do yourselves and the entire world a favour and vote him out in November. Pretty please. #TrumpMeltdown— Stephen Garvin (@stephengarvin99) April 14, 2020
Many, many people hoped that the viral response to Trump's press conference on Monday would translate to the polls in the coming months. They encouraged anyone who was put off by the briefing to go out and vote, making sure their voice was heard.
In the wake of Monday's press conference, Twitter users dredged up an old tweet by his opponent in the 2016 presidential race, Hillary Clinton. They reminded each other that Clinton had "warned" them about how Trump would handle a "real crisis" if elected president.
Some were actually amused by Monday's press briefing, and by the president's visible anger. They shared laughing emojis over some of his most fierce rebukes and claims.
A real journalist with balls, Paula Reid stands her ground and shows the world how to do your job, how to speak truth to power, stand your ground with this impeached President Trump. And he has a meltdown. #TrumpMeltdown pic.twitter.com/LGM9PEp588— We The People Are Pissed Off (@LiddleSavages) April 14, 2020
Finally, many people gave praise and shout outs to the journalists in the White House press corps, saying that they had rightfully pushed the president on some of his claims. They hoped to see more reporters challenging the president on unsubstantiated claims in the future.