On Saturday evening, the Washington Post, among other media outlets, reported liberal pundits across the country are crying foul after Donald Trump allegedly “bowed” to Saudi King Salman.
The “bow” occurred while Trump was being awarded the gold King Abdulaziz medal in a ceremony on Saturday. As Salman went to place the medal around Trump’s neck, the 6-foot-2-inch Trump leaned over, and before standing upright again, Trump seemed to hesitate and drop his body a bit.
Some are claiming the brief movement by Trump amounts to a bow to Saudi royalty. One host for CNN reported—while a caption beneath the broadcast read, “Trump slammed as hypocrite for bowing to Saudi king”—the whole movement, including the lean, amounts to a “bow.”
BuzzFeed posted a video of the “bow” on Twitter with a caption that read, “Remember when conservatives slammed Obama for bowing in front of the Saudi king? Did Trump just bow too?” BuzzFeed’s Julia Reinstein wrote an entire article about the one-second moment.
Far-left director Michael Moore said it looked more like a “curtsy.”
— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) May 20, 2017
You might be wondering what all the fuss is about. It all goes back to a 2009 visit President Barack Obama had with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, during which Obama appeared to bow to the king while shaking his hand.
"It wasn't a bow,” said one Obama aide, according to a report by Politico. “He grasped his hand with two hands, and he's taller than King Abdullah.”
Conservatives and many Republicans weren’t buying it, and they took advantage of the perceived misstep, labeling it a sign of weakness. At the time, Obama was working hard to apologize to seemingly every foreign power in the world for every alleged mistake the United States had ever made.
"By bending over to show greater respect to Islam, the U.S. president belittled the power and independence of the United States," the Washington Times wrote in an editorial.
Trump himself criticized Obama, writing on Twitter in July 2012, “.@BarackObama bowed to the Saudi King in public--yet the Dems are questioning @MittRomney's diplomatic skills.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2012
Liberals—who seem to be in a perpetual frothing-at-the-mouth state to find anything, no matter how irrelevant, to criticize about the president—pounced on Trump’s “bow,” but a comparison of the Trump video and the Obama video seems to show, quite clearly, there was a world of difference between the two moments.