It’s happening again: Donald Trump is tweeting personalized Game of Thrones memes. In response to Thursday morning’s press conference about the Mueller report, the president posted an image inspired by the popular HBO series with text that reads: “No collusion. No obstruction. For the haters and the radical left Democrats—Game Over.” The message was sent prior to the release of the actual report, though once a redacted version did become available, Trump’s campaign announced that it “fully and completely” exonerated the president.
HBO wasn’t too happy about the president borrowing its distinctive font. “Though we can understand the enthusiasm for Game of Thrones now that the final season has arrived, we still prefer our intellectual property not be used for political purposes,” the network said in a statement to Slate. It isn’t the first time HBO has been rankled by Trump’s use of its show, either. In November, after the president posted a similar “Sanctions are coming” tweet riffing on Game of Thrones’ popular tagline, HBO responded, “We were not aware of this messaging and would prefer our trademark not be misappropriated for political purposes” and tweeted out, “How do you say trademark misuse in Dothraki?”
If it seems strange that, in response to probes into his own conduct, Trump would opt to invoke one of the bloodiest and politically manipulative series on television—does it really? Trying to puzzle out what goes on inside the president’s mind often feels like an act of sheer folly, though it’s especially unclear what his team was trying to accomplish with the reference. An attempt at cultural savvy? Ominous intimidation? A tie-in sponsored by Oreo?
Though HBO told Slate that its font is technically copyrighted, the network has not pursued formal legal action against Trump since his first Game of Thrones tweet, according to the Hollywood Reporter, and the president could try to justify his posts under the fair use doctrine. Copycat versions of the font are available online, on sites where users can input terms into a simple text generator, so at the very least, the president’s image probably wasn’t very hard to make.