President Donald Trump was fast to point out over the Memorial Day weekend that he was the first head-of-state to meet with Japan’s newly-anointed Emperor Naruhito.
As he did so, however, a tweet from three years ago embarrassingly highlighted the president’s hypocrisy, and simultaneously threatened to make things awkward between the leaders of the two nations.
Trump retweeted a posting from The Japan Times, which explained that Trump was the first foreign leader to meet Naruhito.
U.S. President Donald Trump becomes first foreign leader to meet Japan's Emperor Naruhito. pic.twitter.com/X9Hu4wH3Jz
— The Japan Times (@japantimes) May 27, 2019
But as the president seemingly bragged about the honor, users on social media pointed out that Trump was once critical of former President Barack Obama meeting with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe almost exactly three years ago.
In a tweet authored at the end of May 2016, Trump lambasted Obama, questioning whether he brought up the fact that Japan had attacked the U.S. at Pearl Harbor during World War II.
Does President Obama ever discuss the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor while he's in Japan? Thousands of American lives lost. #MDW
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 28, 2016
The reappearance of the three-year-old tweet by Trump is especially delicate, given that Emperor Naruhito’s grandfather, Emperor Hirohito, had signed off on authorizing the attack on Pearl Harbor when the plans were presented to him the morning it took place, according to the National World War II Museum.
Users were quick to point out that the president’s previous social media posting was demonstrative of the Trump phenomenon that there seems to be “a tweet for everything” he has to say on a given topic that contradicts what he’s said in the past.
On Memorial Day weekend, 3 years ago, Trump criticized Obama for not discussing “the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor while he’s in Japan.” I wonder if a journalist might want to ask him whether he’s going to bring it up now that he’s in Japan, as president, on Memorial Day weekend? https://t.co/B4XKbJm6X8
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) May 25, 2019
— Mrs. Betty Bowers (@BettyBowers) May 27, 2019
— John Whistler (@johnawhistler) May 27, 2019
Ask them about the sneak attack back in Pearl Harbor…
Remember you wanted Obama to ask..
put your money where your mouth is.. tough guy.
— Guillermo Jorge (@mitojorge) May 26, 2019
Trump’s visit to Japan so far has been mired by other controversial statements, made presently and not from his past, that many have found to be alarming. Trump, for instance, failed to defend attacks made against John Bolton and seemed to defend the disparaging remarks made toward his national security adviser by officials from North Korea.
Trump also faced criticism from at least one member of his own party, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who took issue with the president promoting attacks against Democratic candidate for president Joe Biden, again made by Kim, Newsweek reported.