The UN General Assembly Just Laughed in Trump’s Face as He Bragged of His Successes

“Didn’t expect that reaction, but that’s okay.”

Bebeto Matthews/AP

President Donald Trump on Tuesday prompted audible laughter on the floor of the United Nations General Assembly as he attempted to describe the impressive accomplishments of his presidency. 

“In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country,” Trump said as the audience broke out in laughter. “So true.”

Acknowledging the startling response, the president smiled and said, “Didn’t expect that reaction, but that’s okay.” Many noted that the moment, while brief, perfectly distilled how world leaders view their US counterpart.

Following the interruption, Trump continued to push his signature America First agenda, rejecting “globalism” while emphasizing what he described as America’s sovereignty on the world stage. Keeping in line with his frequent claims that NATO members are ripping off the United States, Trump also demanded countries increase their defense spending and contributions to the UN’s peacekeeping initiatives.

“Few give anything to us. That is why we are taking a hard look at US foreign assistance,” Trump said. “That will be headed up by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.”

“Moving forward, we are only going to give foreign aid to those who respect us and, frankly, our friends,” he added. “We expect other countries to pay their fair share for the cost of their defense. The United States is committed to making the United Nations more effective—and more accountable.”

In a stark contrast to his address last year, where he threatened to “totally destroy North Korea,” Trump on Tuesday praised North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un for his “courage” and purported steps toward denuclearization. Last year in his address to the General Assembly, he memorably referred to Kim Jong-Un as “rocket man.”

The World Just Laughed in Trump's Face While He Bragged About His Administration

“Didn’t expect that reaction, but that’s okay.”

Posted by Mother Jones on Tuesday, September 25, 2018


The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.