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Trump Chooses Metaphor Involving an Orange to Illustrate the Evils of Impeachment

More of a pink shade. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

As he sat beside Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday morning to ring in the 70th anniversary of NATO — an alliance that the French president appears to have tricked him into supporting — President Trump was asked by reporters about his impending impeachment and offered his usual contemplative response, calling House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff a “deranged human being,” as well as a “very sick man.”

He also reached for a curious metaphor to describe the supposed damage impeachment will to do to future presidents:

Trump’s strange argument may be an echo of a phrase that has gained currency among pro-Trump sections of the internet over the last couple of years: “Orange Man Bad.” As the indispensable site Know Your Meme puts it, the phrase is deployed to describe a person who is “programmed with simple slogans to oppose the Trump presidency.” It is popular among staunch Trump defenders like “Dilbert” cartoonist Scott Adams, who deploy it as a hand wave–y defense against any presidential infraction by labeling the person making the accusation as suffering from incurable Trump derangement syndrome.

Was Tuesday’s comment a specific rhetorical choice from Trump? Or might he have just heard the phrase somewhere in the conspiracy-theory swamps he inhabits and had his messy unconscious spit it back out in slightly garbled form to the public? It’s impossible to say.

Trump Invokes Orange to Illustrate Evils of Impeachment