Well, that's one way to look at it. The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations shared her take on why world leaders laughed at Donald Trump. Nikki Haley told Fox & Friends on Wednesday that the outburst of laughter after Trump boasted about his presidency was a display of "respect" for the president. The audience, Haley said, "loved his honesty."
"The media has got this so wrong. I deal with these leaders every single day ... They loved how honest [Trump] is," she said. "It's not diplomatic and they find it funny. I mean, when he goes and he is very truthful, they kind of were taken back by it ... They're not used to it."
The awkward spectacle unfolded at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday after Trump praised his own administration, saying its success rate was much higher than his predecessors'. "My administration has accomplished more than almost any other administration in the history of our country," Trump said and added, "So true." In an NBC News clip, you can hear members at the UN General Assembly laughing in the audience. Even Trump noticed it and said, "Didn't expect that reaction, but that's OK."
Apparently, according to Haley, those in attendance actually adored Trump and clamored to have their photo taken with him. "All day yesterday, they were falling over themselves to get a picture with him, to talk about how great his speech was," she said. "They love that he’s honest with them and they’ve never seen anything like it, so there’s respect there. I saw that the media was trying to make it something disrespectful. That’s not what it was ― they love to be with him."
Here's the Fox News clip of Haley giving her interpretation of the laughter.
The ambassador to the United Nations said that Trump apparently understands his audience on a much deeper level. According to Haley, "I think you have to understand the president. He is always talking to his audience." The ambassador gave examples to ostensibly demonstrate the point she was attempting to make on Fox & Friends. "When he was talking about Kim [Jong Un], he was talking to Kim," she said. "He was sitting there, saying there's a relationship to be had, there's something to be done."
There was more. "When he's talking about OPEC and the issues that need to happen," Haley said, "he's talking to the Saudis, saying release more oil, we've gotta get these gas prices down. He is very good at knowing his audience and he's talking straight to that person or country that he's trying to get his message to."
Haley's interpretation of the General Assembly laughter, that even threw Trump off, elicited incredulity and laughter on social media. As shown above, some journalists shared the actual transcript of her comments presumably to show that they were indeed made on air.
It's not surprising, though, that Haley gave her stance on the laughter as a sign of reverence. After he made his speech, Trump also told the press that the comment was meant to be humorous. "Well, that was meant to get some laughter," he said, "but it was great."