President Donald Trump on Tuesday claimed that he meant to make world leaders laugh during his address to the United Nations earlier in the day, though he initially said he “didn’t expect that reaction.”
Early in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Trump boasted that his administration had accomplished more than almost any other in US history, prompting laughter from world leaders and diplomats in attendance.
“Didn’t expect that reaction, but that’s OK,” Trump said during the speech.
The moment quickly went viral on social media.
Hours later, when asked by reporters about the laughter, Trump said, “Well, that was meant to get some laughter, but it was great.”
When President Barack Obama was in the White House, Trump was often critical of his approach to foreign affairs and routinely claimed that the world was laughing at the US because of Obama’s leadership. In 2014, for example, Trump tweeted: “We need a President who isn’t a laughing stock to the entire World. We need a truly great leader, a genius at strategy and winning. Respect!”
Trump’s approach to foreign affairs has faced widespread criticism at home and abroad, as well as placed him at odds with his top advisers at times. The president remains positive about his accomplishments in the global arena, however, and on Tuesday he painted his speech as a success.
“It’s gotten very good reviews, certainly, and I think it went very well,” Trump told reporters of his address.