President Donald Trump has been roundly criticized after he turned what should have been a simple photo-op into a cringe-worthy speech. In a White House event to congratulate the U.S. athletes who competed in the Winter Olympic and Paralympic games, Trump seems to have gone a bit off script. “What happened with the Paralympics was so incredible and so inspiring to me,” Trump said. “And I watched—it’s a little tough to watch too much, but I watched as much as I could.”
Many of the biggest Winter Olympic names had decided to boycott the White House event anyway due to political differences with the president. “I will not stand with people who discriminate against those that they perceive as different,” figure skater Adam Rippon wrote on Twitter. Later he wrote he had “no regrets about missing this trip” while linking to a tweet that quoted the president’s “tough to watch” comment.
The Paralympic Games even got in on the controversy Saturday morning and responded to Trump’s comments directly via Twitter. “Record numbers around the world are not finding @Paralympics tough to watch,” the organization wrote on Twitter. “Billions of viewers now take in the Paralympics in hundreds of countries around the world. We hope the US President continues to watch and be inspired by the Paralympics.”