As the American public was just about to get its first look at special counsel Robert Mueller’s full (albeit redacted) report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, Trump launched into a Twitter campaign in an attempt to vindicate himself for the two years of investigation that cast a dark cloud over his presidency.
While Attorney General William Barr wrapped up a press conference addressing Mueller’s findings, Trump posted an image-only tweet showing himself, in a black overcoat, turning away into a plume of dusty smoke that strangely mirrored imagery used to promote “Game of Thrones.”
“NO COLLUSION. NO OBSTRUCTION. FOR THE HATERS AND THE RADICAL LEFT DEMOCRATS ― GAME OVER,” the graphic read, in “Game of Thrones” –styled font.
Once again, the president of the United States had appeared to co-opt HBO’s hit drama to market himself. Once again, the network is not terribly pleased.
“Though we can understand the enthusiasm for ‘Game of Thrones’ now that the final season has arrived, we still prefer our intellectual property not be used for political purposes,” HBO said in a statement provided to HuffPost.
Oddly, the president has chosen to place himself in “Game of Thrones” promos that appear to most closely resemble those featuring the Night King, the show’s undead villain.
Trump previously used the “Thrones”–style imagery back in November, when he announced he would reimpose sanctions on Iran. That image similarly used a cutout of Trump over billowing grey smoke but was adorned with the words, “SANCTIONS ARE COMING.”
At the time, HBO responded pithily over Twitter, writing, “How do you say trademark misuse in Dothraki?” (There are several mythical languages in “Game of Thrones,” including Dothraki.)
The sanctions image later appeared in a January Cabinet meeting, lying on a table in actual, printed form while no one talked about it.
Shortly afterward, the president tweeted another image, twisting the “Game of Thrones” House Stark mantra “winter is coming” into a reference to his biggest campaign promise: “THE WALL IS COMING.”
The Mueller report did not conclude that Trump or anyone in his campaign colluded with Russians during the 2016 presidential election or obstructed federal investigators’ work, but it did describe in detail a long series troubling actions by the president and those around him.
Nevertheless, Trump says he’s been having “a good day.”