But many people on Twitter weren’t buying the president’s rationale, which followed widespread condemnation of his original comments.
Actors Chris Evans, Alyssa Milano, Mark Hamill, Matthew Lewis, John Cleese, Patton Oswalt, horror author Stephen King and “Jeopardy” great Ken Jennings joined lawmakers, ex-government officials, conservative commentators, broadcasters and even Dictionary.com in criticizing Trump over his defense.
Some even deployed the president’s purported sarcasm in their attacks:
I just want to make it clear that when I said that President Trump was mad ( in the English sense of demented, unbalanced, delusional and completely crackers ) I was of course being sarcastic
I’m sorry if I failed to make this clear
— John Cleese (@JohnCleese) April 24, 2020
I would like to announce that when I gave wrong answers on Jeopardy, I was being sarcastic.
— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) April 24, 2020
You know you were being filmed when you said it, right? In no way whatsoever were you:
A. Being sarcastic
B. Speaking to reporters
You were speaking directly to medical experts without a shred of sarcasm. https://t.co/Nrnn5JgpQ7
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) April 24, 2020
I don’t know man, I think a world leader being “sarcastic” to troll reporters during a public briefing on a pandemic might just be worse than asking a dumb question. But it’s a bold strategy, Cotton, let’s see if it pays off for em.
— Matthew Lewis (@Mattdavelewis) April 24, 2020
Trump says he was joking about a disease that’s killed 50,000 Americans. You don’t joke about a thing like that. If you are in your right mind, that is.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) April 24, 2020
“I was asking the question sarcastically to reporters like you just to see what would happen.” is my favorite quote since “What you’re seeing & what you’re reading is not what’s happening.” He just wants us to reject the evidence of our eyes & ears. Is that too much to ask? https://t.co/Ym4XnZK08V
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) April 24, 2020
This tweet did not age well. It was not, after all, the dumbest defense they could’ve picked. That honor goes to “I was being sarcastic.” https://t.co/9bODtI0CVv
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) April 24, 2020
Trump says something REALLY dumb. He watches coverage saying he is dumb. A hapless, reflexively lying press secty says it was out of context. Trump, now realizing he cannot spin, lies to say it was sarcasm. Fox then repeats to defend their unfit pres from accusations he is unfit
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) April 24, 2020
Even if we were to accept that Trump was employing sarcasm in suggesting cleaning product as a curative for coronavirus, what the actual fuck is a U.S. president doing employing sarcasm to convey medical info during a public health crisis? Thousands die and he’s going for snide?
— David Simon (@AoDespair) April 24, 2020
I think the middle of a pandemic is the perfect time for sarcasm from a world leader.
— Sara Morrison (@SaraMorrison) April 24, 2020
1) He wasn’t being sarcastic.
2) He wasn’t talking to reporters, but to his own experts.
3) Even if he was being sarcastic (he wasn’t) and talking to reporters (he wasn’t), yes, it is indeed a reckless, dangerous and MAD thing to do at a live televised *public health* briefing. https://t.co/M3mPf4CeF4
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) April 24, 2020
To be fair, I have referred to Trump in the past as “the president”, but I was being sarcastic.
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) April 24, 2020
My favorite part of the president’s sarcasm was when he asked the health professional to weigh in on his idea, took her response at face value, and then insisted that “medical doctors” were going to look into his idea in detail, as one does when they’re just being sarcastic. https://t.co/9miGjXxW6T
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) April 24, 2020
then he should have used the sarcasm font
— Benjamin Dreyer (@BCDreyer) April 24, 2020
Sarcasm. 50k Americans dead in the ground in two months and this motherfucker says his garbage brain is utilizing sarcasm instead of giving us useful information?! Worthless. Human shaped trash.
— Tina Dupuy (@TinaDupuy) April 24, 2020
What about the part where you made Dr. Birx try and confirm your stupidity. And what about the part where you had the guy do a whole presentation… Sarcasm? Nope https://t.co/Br8YMWmVGA
— Mika Brzezinski (@morningmika) April 24, 2020
A HuffPost Guide To Coronavirus