In warning of the dangers of North Korea, Trump set an inflammatory tone by nicknaming its leader Kim Jong-un “Rocket Man,” and claimed if the U.S. “is forced to defend itself and its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.” He also got in touch with his inner theologian, proclaiming that some nations in the midst of conflict were “going to hell.”
Watch a longer clip showing the length of Trump’s pause, as well as smiles from UN officials. A close listen reveals the quiet laughter in the audience.
But it was Trump’s attack on socialism that created the most awkward moment of his speech before the General Assembly. In referencing the Venezuelan crisis and singling out Cuba, Trump said socialism only brought “anguish and devastation and failure,” though it’s not clear if he fully grasps socialism or whether he was taking a dig at the push for single-payer healthcare in the U.S. led by Democratic Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders.
Then, Trump said that “the problem is not that socialism has been wrongly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented.”
He paused and waited for applause, but was met with near silence and more than a few chuckles from his international audience.
It’s worth noting that the Scandinavian countries, including Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland, have socialistic policies — such as universal health care — that are considered by many to be incredibly successful.
The U.S. delegation, including U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson didn’t look too pleased with Trump’s remarks either.
Is it just me or does the U.S delegation look concerned during Trump’s UN speech? pic.twitter.com/1g6Ez0e6Vw
— Anthony De Rosa 🗽 (@Anthony) September 19, 2017