Trump’s handwritten ‘I WANT NOTHING’ note gets memed

In a move on the White House lawn that has become ritualistic, President Donald Trump shouted a statement to media as a helicopter propeller whirred loudly in the background.

The statement he read—from notes written in Sharpie—became an immediate meme.

Trump said that he’d been watching Ambassador Gordon Sondland’s testimony in the impeachment hearing on whether he’d used his office to coerce Ukraine into digging up dirt on political rival Joe Biden. Trump claimed Sondland had cleared him of wrongdoing by testifying that Trump told him “I want nothing,” when asked what he wanted from Ukraine.

“I want nothing,” Trump repeated for good measure, reading from his notes. “I want no quid pro quo. That’s what I want from Ukraine. That’s what I said. I want nothing. I said it twice.”

Astute observers quickly zoomed in on Trump’s notes. “I want nothing. I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. Tell Zellinsky [sic] to do the right thing. This is the final word from the President of the U.S.” they said.

And thus a meme was born.

As usual, Trump’s loyal following was completely willing to take his every word as fact. Turning Point USA’s Benny Johnson earned himself a bit of a sub-roasting for referring to Trump’s notes as “receipts.”

“They can’t be receipts if you make them up yourself, you plagiarizing dumb dumb,” someone commented.

By and large, however, people were unconvinced. Susan Hennessey, Lawfare executive editor, was among those pointing out that the conversation to which Trump refers took place a day after news of the whistleblower complaint broke, on the same day that Democrats announced an inquiry into the Ukraine matter.

While some, like Hennessey, made serious points about the logical inconsistencies in Trump’s argument, most were content to dunk on him.

Sondland’s testimony continues this afternoon.

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Claire Goforth

Claire Goforth

Claire Goforth is a Jacksonville, Florida-based journalist covering politics, culture, justice, and unicorns. Her work has appeared in publications ranging from regional alt-weeklies to Al Jazeera.