The Slatest

Trump Goes on Angry Anti-Media Tweetstorm, Demands Reporters Give Back “Noble Prizes”

Trump's face
President Donald Trump at a White House briefing on Friday. Olivier Douliery/Getty Images

Being forced to stay inside and away from the golf course seems to be hitting President Donald Trump particularly hard this weekend. On Sunday the president went on an angry Twitter rant that was intense even by Trump’s standards. And in his seething, it looks like the president didn’t really think twice about spelling, criticizing reporters who won “Noble prizes” investigating his administration and those who say he eats “a hamberger” in his bedroom.

In his rambling outburst on Sunday afternoon, Trump complained that no one applauds him for all the hard work he is doing during the coronavirus crisis. He claimed he hasn’t left the “White House in many months” but then has to “read a phony story” in the New York Times about his work schedule “written by a third rate reporter” who doesn’t know him. “I will often be in the Oval Office late into the night & see that I am angrily eating a hamberger & Diet Coke in my bedroom,” Trump wrote. “People with me are always stunned. Anything to demean!” He later deleted that tweet and reposted it with hamburger spelled correctly. (For the record, this wasn’t the first time the president misspelled “hamburgers”; last year he wrote “hamberders.”) It looks like the president was angry at a story published Thursday in the New York Times that reported on the president’s life during the pandemic. That story focused on how the president seems particularly angry at the coverage of his administration, noting that even Trump’s old ally Fox News isn’t “portraying him as he would like to be seen.”

Spelling wasn’t the only thing wrong with that series of tweets. Trump also claimed he hadn’t left the White House in “many months,” when the truth is that his last rally was on March 2 in Charlotte, North Carolina. But, hey, at this point we all feel like we’ve been stuck inside for months.

Trump then went on to continue his anti-media rant by criticizing those who had won awards for their investigations into his campaign’s ties to Russia. But in that rant, which he later deleted, he made two mistakes, first confusing two awards and then misspelling Nobel as “Noble.” He said that the reporters should be “turning back their cherished ‘Nobles.’ ” The Nobel Prize isn’t given to journalists unless they happen to win the literature award. As many were quick to point out on Twitter, Trump was likely referring to the Pulitzer Prize.

Trump then went on to threaten to sue the “Noble committee” if it failed to revoke the awards. And in a threatening tone, the commander in chief wondered when the “Noble Committee” will act. “Better be fast!” he added. Hours after deleting the tweets, Trump tried to play off his spelling mistake and his apparent confusion between the Nobel and Pulitzer prizes, claiming he actually meant to write Noble. “Does sarcasm ever work?” he asked on Twitter.

Why would Trump confuse the Pulitzer with the Nobel? Some have theories. Ben Rhodes, a former national security adviser for President Barack Obama, noted that “Trump’s weird obsession with the Nobel Prize seems entirely rooted in the fact that Obama won it.” Regardless, as many pointed out, it is a weird obsession to have right now considering that more than 55,000 people in the United States have died of the coronavirus.

The president’s anger at the media is nothing new, of course. But it comes at a time when he appears particularly focused on the negative coverage of his administration. On Saturday he wrote a tweet criticizing the “Lamestream Media” for only asking “hostile questions” at his coronavirus briefings. On Friday, a White House official tried to move a CNN reporter from the front row before Trump’s briefing, but she refused. The briefing went on as scheduled, but Trump did not take questions.

This post has been updated with new information since it was first published.

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