If there's one thing a whole lot of conservatives didn't like, it was the sight of their commander-in-chief, tilted at the waist in a respectful bow to the king of Saudi Arabia. Images of Obama bowing before the late King Abdullah in 2009 were received poorly by conservatives — and even Trump himself on Twitter. Yet some of the same people are now defending Trump for doing, well, something similar in his own meeting with King Salman, although it's tough to know quite what to call it. It set off plenty of mockery on social media, too: here are 21 tweets and memes about Trump's bow — or curtsy, as some have called it ― to the Saudi king.
Make no mistake, conservatives were having none of Obama's 2009 bow. In fairness, Obama's move appeared to be a much more conventional, traditional show of respect than Trump's awkward, halting gesture. As such, this has led some right-wing outlets to report, wrongly, that no such bow took place.
For instance, Fox News insisted on Saturday morning that Trump didn't "bow as Obama appeared to." This is more than a little misleading, although it's certainly true he didn't bow like Obama did. Nobody mistook Obama's bow for what it actually was, as opposed to debating whether Trump's is more of an awkward curtsy.
Regardless, the denizens of social media are simply having fun with it all. Here are 21 tweets and memes about, you know, whatever you'd call Trump's show of respect to King Salman.
1. Hold My Beer
2. Voluntarily Curtseying To King Salman
3. Opts Instead For A Half-Curtsy
"Unlike Obama, Trump refuses to debase himself by bowing before a king. Diplomat that he is, he deftly opts instead for a half-curtsy" pic.twitter.com/LnHHJMOmC8— Federalist PitchBot (@FederalistPitch) May 20, 2017
4. How Conservatives Criticized Obama
How conservatives criticized Obama for bowing to Saudi King. "The bow was an extraordinary protocol violation." https://t.co/oddfkYhGGi— Alexi McCammond (@leximccammond) May 20, 2017
5. Will Bow For Gold
The Trump Motto: "Will bow for gold." pic.twitter.com/qkIkmeRn61— Eric Schmeltzer (@JustSchmeltzer) May 20, 2017
7. How About If Obama Had Curtsied?
8. The Trump Burtsy
Somewhere between a bow and a curtsy lives the Trump Burtsy: pic.twitter.com/mwxjfumSnn— Fake Dispatch (@Fake_Dispatch) May 20, 2017
9. Well, That's Awkward
Last words from @POTUS before deplaning Air Force One: "I catch one American bowing here and you're on the next Saudia flight home"...— Steve Cortes (@CortesSteve) May 20, 2017
10. Banned His Entourage From Bowing
Trump banned his entourage from bowing in Saudi Arabia, then goes on to execute a precious lil curtsy to Saudi king pic.twitter.com/MioQeGzx9U— Adam Khan (@Khanoisseur) May 20, 2017
11. Make America Curtsy Again
12. Trump Meeting The Saudi King
Video of Trump meeting the Saudi king pic.twitter.com/ZMNWfuHxSl— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) May 20, 2017
13. Despite Video/Pictures Showing Trump Bowing
14. The Troubling Thing Is
The bows are funny, yes, but really I think the troubling thing is how both Obama and Trump put together a $110 billion arms deal for Saudi— Gregg Carlstrom (@glcarlstrom) May 20, 2017
15. Thanks, Obama
Thanks, Obama, for making Trump bow here! pic.twitter.com/6doahsQUzc— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) May 20, 2017
16. That Moment When
That moment when conservatives flood internet w/TRUMP BOWS TO NO ONE MEMES & Trump not only bows, but adds a curtsy pic.twitter.com/OXkhiv8bxv— The Daily Edge (@TheDailyEdge) May 20, 2017
17. This ...
18. ... Is ...
19. ... Hilarious
20. Unlike Obama, Trump Would Never
21. Bend Those Knees
For the record, according to Merriam-Webster, you can spell it "curtsy" or "curtsey" — either way is acceptable. The more or less official Trump supporter line on this is that it doesn't qualify as a "bow," and was merely an instance of Trump having to lean over to accommodate the medal presentation from the far shorter King Salman. This is essentially the same excuse the Obama administration used while catching hell for his bow back in 2009.
In other words, if you were hoping for Trump to stand tall and show no deference on the first leg of his international tour, better luck next time.