Donald Trump bowing for the King of Saudi Arabia

Photo via NoahGrayCNN/Twitter

Trump appears to bow for Saudi Arabian king, and Twitter goes bonkers

Was it a bow? A curtsy? An admission of hypocrisy? Who really knows!


Samantha Grasso

Internet Culture

Published May 20, 2017   Updated May 24, 2021, 1:45 pm CDT

Did President Donald Trump bow or curtsy to the Saudi Arabian king? Either way, the internet is having a field day with Trump’s second bout of social media hypocrisy during his trip to Saudi Arabia.

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On Saturday, Trump supporters and Fox News praised Trump for his greeting with Saudi Arabian leaders—instead of bowing, much like President Barack Obama did in 2009 to then-leader King Abdullah in London, he gave the king a handshake.

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To headline a story on Trump’s Saudi greeting, Fox News wrote, “Trump shakes hands with Saudi leader, doesn’t bow as Obama appeared to do.”

“President Trump upon arriving in Saudi Arabia on Saturday did not bow to the Gulf leader as former President Barack Obama appeared to do—a move interpreted as American weakness,” the Fox News piece read. Trump has also previously criticized Obama’s bow on Twitter, and appeared to tell his staff that anyone who bowed would be “on the next flight home.”

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However, those excited by Trump’s symbolic handshake spoke just a smidgen too soon. Because an hour after Fox praised the president, Trump appeared to bow, or maybe curtsy, or possibly both, for the king.

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According to CNN, the bow took place while King Salman was presenting Trump with the Collar of Abdulaziz Al Saud, the highest honor in Saudi Arabia.

Of course, Twitter ran with the concept of Trump, whose affinity for gold has plated even the White House, bending back on his criticism of Obama’s bow to bow for a piece of gold. Some even equated the collar to that of a dog’s.

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Although, some Twitter users alleged that the bow looked a lot more like a curtsy, or a bow with a curtsy-like finish.

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Regardless of the optics of Trump’s clear body bend toward the king, the move definitely doesn’t look good for the president. Especially with all the criticism that was heaped on the last American president for doing something pretty similar.

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*First Published: May 20, 2017, 4:44 pm CDT