Trump claims ‘chosen one’ comment was sarcastic; others remain skeptical

President Donald Trump says 'I am the chosen one,' in remarks before boarding Air Force One on the White House lawn, August 21, 2019.
President Donald Trump says "I am the chosen one," in remarks before boarding Air Force One on the White House lawn, August 21, 2019. | Screengrab/C-Span

President Donald Trump recently backed away from a comment he made about being the “chosen one,” claiming that at the time he was being sarcastic.

President Trump took to Twitter on Saturday to clarify that he was joking when he called himself the “chosen one” and pointed to the sky during a press conference.

“When I looked up to the sky and jokingly said ‘I am the chosen one,’ at a press conference two days ago, referring to taking on Trade with China, little did I realize that the media would claim that I had a ‘Messiah complex.’ They knew I was kidding, being sarcastic,” tweeted Trump.

“I was smiling as I looked up and around. The MANY reporters with me were smiling also. They knew the TRUTH...And yet when I saw the reporting, CNN, MSNBC and other Fake News outlets covered it as serious news & me thinking of myself as the Messiah. No more trust!”

Slate contributor Daniel Politi wrote in response that Trump’s recollection of the circumstances in which he dubbed himself the “chosen one” were not entirely accurate.  

“Another day brings yet another example of the president of the United States trying to present his own version of reality as the truth,” wrote Politi.

“It’s difficult to know whether the reporters surrounding Trump were smiling but there is obviously video of Trump’s remarks and the president was decidedly not smiling when he anointed himself ‘the chosen one’ while looking up at the sky.”

Last week, the president garnered controversy when, during a press conference that touched base on multiple topics including trade negotiations with China, he called himself the “chosen one.”

“I am the chosen one,” stated Trump, who then pointed upwards. “Somebody had to do it. So I’m taking on China. I’m taking on China on trade. And you know what? We’re winning.”

“I was put here by people to do a great job. And that’s what I’m doing. And nobody has done a job like I’ve done.”

The same day, Trump also retweeted a comment by conservative radio host Wayne Allyn Root, comparing the president to the “King of Israel” and “the Second Coming.”

Trump received much criticism for his comment and the retweet. Jay Lowder, a Texas-based evangelist who identified himself as a Trump voter, called it “one of Trump’s most disturbing steps” and encouraged evangelicals to end their “silence” on the matter.

“Trump is neither the ‘Second Coming of God’ nor the ‘Messiah.’ In repeating the profane quote, he gave a narcissistic endorsement and even thanked Root, a well-known conspiracy theorist, for his words,” wrote Lowder in an opinion column for The Washington Post.

Others, including Texas megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress, insisted that Trump does not have a “messiah complex” despite the recent statements.

“As a friend of President Trump’s, I can assure your audience he does not have a messiah complex. He does not see himself as the messiah,” said Jeffress in a recent interview with Todd Starnes.

Follow Michael Gryboski on Twitter or Facebook

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