RIYADH – The action lasted mere seconds, but it has split social media and left people pondering: When is a bend a bow?
During the first stop on his inaugural trip abroad, President Donald Trump, like presidents before him, was honored with Saudi Arabia’s highest civilian honor, the Order of Abdulaziz al-Saud.
But no sooner had the 6-foot-2-inch President leaned in so that the much shorter Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud could place the medal around his neck than the politically tinged questions started flying: Was it a bow? A curtsey? Some awkward combination thereof?
Whatever the answer, it was, perhaps, the one muted note of social media discord in an otherwise controversy-free first day of travel.
That’s in part because in 2012, after flirting with the idea of running for president, Trump sharply criticized President Barack Obama for bowing to then-Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz when he got his award a few years earlier.
Obama’s press secretary, Robert Gibbs, denied at the time of the visit that that 6’1″ Obama had bowed, saying the President “bent over … to shake with both hands.”
But Trump questioned that on Twitter during the 2012 campaign: “Do we still want a President who bows to the Saudis …?” he asked. – CNN