Finnish President Sauli Niinisto was seated alongside U.S. President Donald Trump during a press conference on Wednesday, and when the latter playfully smacked the foreign leader’s knee, Niinisto’s gut reaction was to swat Trump’s hand away.
During the press conference in the Oval Office Trump announced, “Finland is a happy country!” and proceeded to playfully touch the Finnish President’s leg, a moment which was clearly not enjoyed Niinisto, who appeared to look at someone off-camera with a a look that said, “Did that really just happen?” and “Save me, please.” Trump, completely unaware that he was making Niinisto uncomfortable didn’t skip a beat. “He’s a happy leader,” Trump said.
When a reporter asked Trump what he could learn from Finland he said, “Well, if you get rid of Pelosi and you get rid of Shifty Schiff,” referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, who are leading the formal impeachment inquiry against him. Trump didn’t quite finish his thoughts before repeating, “Finland is a happy country. He is a happy leader, too”
Trump’s response to questions about the impeachment proceedings, “No Republican is taking them seriously,” he said. As for Rep. Schiff, “He should be forced to resign from Congress, Adam Schiff, he’s a lowlife… and frankly, they should look at him for treason.
To explain what he calls “Schiff’s version” of the phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Trump said everything was fabricated. “He made up a conversation, every word of it, he made it up, and realized he couldn’t read it to Congress because it was perfect.” And even though a memorandum of the phone call in question was released the public Trump doubled down on Schiff being a liar. Trump added, “He took a perfect conversation, a very nice conversation, with many people on the phone… he took that, which was perfect, and said ‘I can’t read this,” so he made up a conversation and reported it to Congress and the American people.”
While Niiniisto looked on, Trump claimed that Schiff couldn’t even hold Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s “blank strap.” What Trump meant exactly by that statement is unknown. However, when Trump said, “We have the most dishonest media,” and told reporters “that you people should be ashamed of yourselves,” his meaning was quite clear.
Twitter’s Best Responses to the Finnish President’s Reaction
People on Twitter couldn’t stop watching and sharing this viral moment between Niiinisto and Trump. Some users commented that the Finnish President was another victim of #MeToo at the hands of the American President, while others were curious to know the exact thoughts that were going through Niinisto’s mind during the White House press conference.
Some users noted that Trump’s rant shows that he’s actually nervous for the impeachment inquiry taking place in Congress, and tried to use the press conference with Finland to further put down the House democrats, especially Rep. Schiff. Many people on Twitter also wanted to merely apologize on America’s behalf for their President’s behavior.