During an address to AIPAC in 2016, Trump said the United Nations was “not a friend of democracy, it’s not a friend to freedom, it’s not a friend even to the United States of America.” Trump has promoted a sometimes isolationist agenda, is fond of the phrase “America first,” and has generally unnerved committed allies around the globe.
So his speech at a forum on U.N reforms could have gone off the rails. Instead, it ended up being pretty boring.
There was only one real moment of Trumpian strangeness during the remarks, and it was the very first thing the president said:
“I actually saw great potential right across the street, to be honest with you, and it was only for the reason that the United Nations was here that that turned out to be such a successful project.”
The building Trump was referring to, naturally, is Trump World Tower.
Though it was a solipsistic way to kick off an important speech — “it’s so typical of Trump to view the rest of the world, even the official assembly of the world’s leaders, as a footnote to the saga of his own wealth,” Slate’s Fred Kaplan writes — the comment ranked relatively low on the Trump bizarreness index.
If Trump could limit himself to just one inexplicably weird statement per public appearance, the world would be better off.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Trump’s speech on Monday was before the U.N. General Assembly.