US President Donald Trump has taken his battle against Democrats over a border wall to Instagram, posting a ‘Game of Thrones’-inspired meme he has previously used to threaten Iran.
The photo, showing a barrier of sharpened steel spikes bisecting a desert under the president’s frowning visage, declares “The Wall is Coming” in the same typeface used by the popular HBO fantasy show.
HBO has long used “Winter is coming” – the slogan of the fictional House Stark of Westeros – to promote ‘Game of Thrones,’ a show based on the books by George R.R. Martin whose final season is due to air in April.
Trump has alluded to the show once before, to tell Iran that “Sanctions are coming” back in November. Back then, he posted the image on Twitter.
Tehran was not amused, however, with leader of Iran’s elite Quds Force, General Qassem Soleimani, responding in the same style with the words “I will stand against you” on Instagram.
At a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Trump had a printout of the “Sanctions are coming” poster on the table in front of him, but never made any references to it, prompting frenzied speculation.
The Instagram post appears to have solved that particular mystery, suggesting the president had brought the poster because he wanted a wall meme designed along the same lines.
‘Game of Thrones’ also features a wall – made of ice and described as 300 miles long and 700 feet tall – that protects the Seven Kingdoms from the wildlings and undead wights that live beyond it in the north.
It is unclear whether Trump is a fan of the show. He has only ever used the Stark words as the source material, though he did once threaten North Korea with “fire and fury” shortly after HBO aired an episode in which one of the characters does just that, riding on a dragon.
HBO was not amused back in November, responding to Trump’s ‘Game of Thrones’ reference by asking on Twitter how one would say “trademark misuse” in Dothraki, one of the languages in the show.
Trump campaigned in 2016 on building a “big, beautiful wall” on the border with Mexico. Congressional Republicans have been reluctant to support him on it, however, until last month when the House of Representatives passed a government funding bill that included $5.6 billion for the project. Democrats, however, have flat-out refused to approve a single penny in wall funding. The government has been partially shut down for nearly two weeks as a result of the impasse.
Right before making the Instagram post, Trump made a surprise and first-ever appearance in the White House briefing room, bringing along several Border Patrol officials, to say he will not back down from demanding a wall on the border with Mexico.
“You can call it a barrier, you can call it whatever you want, but we need protection for our country,” he said. “Without a wall, you cannot have border security. It won’t work.”
He then left, without taking any questions from the press.
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