Donald Trump Jr. turns 40 on the last day of 2017, and his friends had a strange way of pre-gaming it. Trump Jr. mocked former President Obama with a cookie cake, posting a photo Sunday on Instagram of him holding the "Obama cake" alongside Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). People on Twitter and Instagram were perplexed, to say the least.
"With friends like these... some good friends decided that while my birthday is not for 2 weeks that they would get me an early 40th birthday cake," Trump Jr. captioned the photo. "And what birthday is complete without an Obama cake? I figured it was so good that I would have to share it with Ted."
Commenters were quick to point out that it was in fact a cookie, not a cake. Nevertheless, it was clear Obama's distorted face made out of icing was mocking the former president, and Trump Jr.'s grimacing expression sent the same message. Cruz seemed less invested in the joke, simply smiling as if it were an ordinary political photo op.
The Trumps' dislike of Obama is no secret. Both Trump Jr. and his dad frequently disparage the 44th president, and the elder Trump has reportedly questioned whether or not Obama was born in the United States as recently as last month. As Instagram user @simplykarena commented, "The obsession with President Obama is generational."
Other comments on Trump Jr.'s post showing off his "Obama cake" devolved into predictable partisan arguments. User @melprice19 wrote, "Two of our favorite men, excluding the one on the cake!!!!" while @quicksglimpse quipped, "This is honestly so distasteful it’s unbelievable. Does it make you feel good to act like a petty child rather than to try to spread some kindness?"
Putting someone else's face on a birthday cookie is an odd move for anyone, but especially when it's the first son showing off a cookie cake featuring his father's political foe.
Moving past the weird icing choice, people didn't understand how Trump Jr. could confuse a cookie with a cake. After all, the fact that he was able to hold the dessert upright in his bare hands should have given away its non-cake consistency.
Trump Jr.'s social media presence has sparked controversy before, including when he tried to use Halloween to make a point about socialism. He posted a photo of his daughter holding a bucket of Halloween candy, writing: "I’m going to take half of Chloe’s candy tonight & give it to some kid who sat at home. It’s never to (sic) early to teach her about socialism."
Author J.K. Rowling mocked his Halloween lesson by responding: "Fill her bucket with old candy left by her great-grandfather, then explain that she has more because she's smarter than all the other kids." (President Trump got his start in real estate thanks to financial help from his father, and Trump Jr. now runs the Trump Organization started by President Trump.)
Trump Jr. also notably tweeted a meme comparing refugees to Skittles in September 2016, two months before his father was elected president. The meme read, "If I had a bowl of skittles and I told you just three would kill you. Would you take a handful? That's our Syrian refugee problem," and Trump Jr. added, "This image says it all. Let's end the politically correct agenda that doesn't put America first." Although Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway defended the post, Skittles' producer said the company didn't "feel it's an appropriate analogy."
Despite the backlash from these incidents, Trump Jr. hasn't stopped using social media to mock Obama, criticize Hillary Clinton, or argue with those who oppose the Trump administration's agenda.