The “Donald & Shinzo: Make Alliance Even Greater” Hat Has Twitter Face Palming
The way to the president's heart may be through his hat. On Sunday, President Trump began a nearly-two-week trip to Asia, where he will meet with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, among other world leaders. First, though, he stopped in Japan. While there, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gave Trump a hat emblazoned with a custom slogan that was sure to resonate with POTUS. Similar to Trump's signature red campaign hat, the gift from Abe read, "Donald and Shinzo, Make Alliance Even Greater."
The white, trucker-style hats featured gold embroidery that spelled out the slogan, which clearly played off the president's well-known campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again." Abe and Trump each signed the hats and posed for several pictures with them during Trump's visit to Tokyo. It's not uncommon for world leaders to give each other special gifts during diplomatic meetings, but the hats from Japan's prime minister seemed different than most. Basically, Abe gave Trump one half of a pair of "best friends forever" necklaces.
According to The Los Angeles Times, Trump spoke highly of the alliance between him and the Japanese prime minister. "Our relationship is really extraordinary," Trump reportedly said. "I don't think we've ever been closer to Japan than we are right now."
During Trump's visit to Japan, he and Abe also reportedly played nine holes of golf and shared an expensive dinner with their wives in downtown Tokyo. By far, the most talked-about part of the visit was Abe's custom gift. On social media, reactions ranged from entertained to embarrassed.
I had no idea you were being serious. I liked it better when I thought you were making a joke. Unreal.— tyler (@maddies_daddy_) November 5, 2017
"Unreal" has seemed like an appropriate response for many parts of the Trump presidency.
Alright I’m officially renaming my thesis title to “Make Alliance Even Greater” https://t.co/6x8RKTZKCW— Sabrina Leung (@sabrinatzleung) November 5, 2017
Can't wait to read it.
Embarrassing. They know childish things like a hat with his name on it will make him happy and more willing to do what they want 🤦♂️— Jeremiah #iSing (@JerryMouse24) November 5, 2017
For some context, former presidents' gifts from world leaders have included a silver and gold dagger, an African mask sculpture, and a bronze statue.
Stephen Colbert would not have enough hands for this one.
That will be a big seller among the base.— Sandra Tutton (@SandraTutton) November 5, 2017
Although this prediction seems spot-on, it doesn't appear that the hats are for sale.
Next up, a secret handshake and club patch to sew onto the arms of their jackets.— Phil Kohler (@pkohler01) November 5, 2017
The friendship is at its finest.
Erm, so Trump & Abe meet and sign golf hats that say "DONALD AND SHINZO: MAKE ALLIANCE EVEN GREATER"— Aleem Maqbool (@AleemMaqbool) November 5, 2017
Sometimes, "erm" says it all.
The world of Stranger Things seems more normal than this one.— Sanchez (@EskimoSanchez) November 5, 2017
Surely, stranger things have not happened.
We're not regular world leaders. We're cool world leaders.
I'm really not sure how to feel about this— Cody Blaze Jackson (@BlazenBlade) November 5, 2017
You are not alone.
"This Is Real"
So Shinzo Abe just gave golfing buddy Donald Trump a hat with the words “Donald and Shinzo: Make Alliance Even Greater”. (This is real)— Stephen McDonell (@StephenMcDonell) November 5, 2017
A disclaimer seems necessary.
While in Japan, the president also visited with American troops at Yokota Air Base near Tokyo. Over the coming days, Trump will take a trip to South Korea, China, the Philippines, and Vietnam. According to The New York Times, Trump's Asia tour represents the longest such trip by an American president in more than 25 years.
Perhaps the most highly anticipated part of his trip, Trump will have his second face-to-face meeting as president with Putin later this week. The meeting comes just as former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was charged last week with several counts of wrongdoing — including "conspiracy against the United States" — in conjunction with the ongoing federal investigation into Russia's alleged ties to the 2016 presidential election. Of course, the Trump-Putin meeting also comes as tensions remain high between the U.S. and Russia's neighbor, North Korea. North Korea is reportedly on the meeting agenda.
"We want Putin's help on North Korea, and we'll be meeting with a lot of different leaders," Trump told reporters during his flight to Tokyo, according to CNN.
Still, it remains to be seen how Trump will interact with Putin or the other world leaders in his path. It's unlikely, though, that anyone will give him a gift quite as personalized as the "Make Alliance Even Greater" hat from Abe. Only a true friend could think up that one.