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
4. How Conservatives Criticized Obama
5. Will Bow For Gold
7. How About If Obama Had Curtsied?
8. The Trump Burtsy
9. Well, That's Awkward
10. Banned His Entourage From Bowing
11. Make America Curtsy Again
12. Trump Meeting The Saudi King
13. Despite Video/Pictures Showing Trump Bowing
14. The Troubling Thing Is
15. Thanks, Obama
16. That Moment When
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.