U.S. President Donald Trump demanded, in June this year, that the Pentagon create a new military service, a Space Force to assure “American dominance in space.”
However, his approach has left many struggling to understand basics such as what a Space Force would do and how much it might cost - so much so Defense Secretary James Mattis’s lack of action on the program has reportedly driven a wedge between him and the president.
The idea has taken on a life of its own at Trump’s rallies. That’s partly due to his conflating of the nation’s civilian space program with the military’s separate role of providing space-based navigation and communications satellites.
Space force however isn’t the only issue that has left many Americans scratching their heads. From Trump’s plan in Syria to sexually harassing a U.S. senator over Twitter with a lewd remark the president has been a source of never ending headlines - here are just few.
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During a press conference in Febraury 2017, Trump tried to explain why it was important to heal relations with Russia. “If Russia and the United States actually got together and got along…and don’t forget we’re a very powerful nuclear country and so are they…there’s no upside…we’re a very powerful nuclear country and so are they."
He added: “I’ve been briefed…and I can tell you one thing about a briefing that we’re allowed to say …because anybody who ever read the most basic book can say it…nuclear holocaust would be like no other.
Missiles over Iraq and cake
In April 2017, after firing missiles at Syria for allegedly using chemical weapons against its own people, Trump told Fox Business that he made the decision over "the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake." Making the statement even more absurd, he incorrectly said he fired the missiles at Iraq.
Half a sentence and a typo from the President of the United States became the most-talked about trend on the internet.
Pretty much summed up Trump's 2017.
Here’s what happened.
Trump tweeted on May 31, 2017, “Despite the constant negative press covfefe,” a clause with no context at 12:06 a.m. ET.
The tweet was finally deleted about 5.50 a.m. ET.
But wait, there’s more. At 6:09 a.m., Trump tweeted again: “Who can figure out the true meaning of “covfefe” ??? Enjoy!”
Though covfefe likely was a typo when the president meant to type coverage, he’ll be waking up to a lot of Twitter sass.
TV host Billy Eichner wasn’t having it.
One of the most popular theories is that someone tried to grab Trump’s phone mid-tweet, and it was accidentally sent.
No word from Merriam-Webster on whether they’ll add it to the dictionary next year. They’ve gone back to bed.
Trump's IQ test challenge
In October of 2017, Trump challenged then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to "compare IQ tests" if Tillerson did indeed ever call Trump a "moron" as reported.
Trump at the time told Forbes magazine: "I think it's fake news. But if he did that, I guess we'll have to compare IQ tests. And I can tell you who is going to win."
Trump's tense relationship with Tillerson burst into public view last week. An NBC News story claimed Vice President Mike Pence had to talk Tillerson out of resigning this summer, and that Tillerson had called Trump a "moron."
Tillerson said he never considered resigning. His spokeswoman said he never used such language. Trump and Tillerson are scheduled to have lunch Tuesday with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.
Trump’s Lewd Tweet
Trump lashed out in December 2017 at Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who has called on him to resign over allegations of sexual misconduct.
In a tweet, Trump called the New York Democrat “lightweight” and “a total flunky for Chuck Schumer,” the Senate Democratic leader.
Trump says Gillibrand “would come to my office “begging” for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them).” Gillibrand shot back on Twitter writing, "You cannot silence me or the millions of women who have gotten off the sidelines to speak out about the unfitness and shame you have brought to the Oval Office."
MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski immediately accused the president of sexually harrassing Gillibrand with the tweet, saying that the implication was clear and unmistakable.
“Let’s just say it — he’s suggesting Kirsten Gillibrand would have sex with him in order to get campaign contributions,” Brzezinski said. “The president tweeted that this morning.”
“Maybe it’s Ivanka Trump, maybe she will finally stand up for what is right since her father just literally sexually harassed in a cruel way a woman on Twitter,” Brzezinski continued. “Ivanka, you stepped in there to talk for women, to speak for women, to have a platform for women. Where are you today?”
That video Trump showed Kim during their historic summit
Trump showed North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un an intense and strongly worded video montage this past July ahead of their joint press conference, which immediately raised eyebrows.
“Two men, two leaders, one destiny. A story about a special moment in time when a man is presented with one chance that may never be repeated. What will he choose? To show vision and leadership - or not?”
The video includes images of industrial development and Western entertainment - including a basketball player dunking a ball. Trump showed the video to the gathered media ahead of his press conference and said he showed it to Kim.
“I think he loved it,” said Trump. “We didn’t have a big screen like you [the media] have the luxury of having, we didn’t need it because we had it on a cassette and an iPad.”