A photo of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly reacting to President Donald Trump‘s menacing United Nations address on Tuesday has gone viral.
The photo, taken by Mary Altaffer of the Associated Press, shows Trump’s homeland security secretary turned chief of staff holding his face in his hand while listening to his boss, with First Lady Melania Trump seated in front of him.
The photo quickly made the rounds on Twitter, where many shared Kelly’s apparent distress over the president’s first speech at the U.N. in which he called North Korean leader Kim Jong-un a “rocket man on a suicide mission” and threatened to “totally destroy” the East Asian country.
“General #JohnKelly’s reaction to #TrumpUNSpeech speaks for us all,” tweeted one critic.
“We feel your pain,” added another.
John Kelly apparently went through some sort of existential crisis during Trump's UN speech. pic.twitter.com/v0JUz21klN— Kyle Feldscher (@Kyle_Feldscher) September 19, 2017
John Kelly face palming during Trump's UN speech is like a parent disappointed again with their adult man child https://t.co/GlpSQZYIpL— Mad World (@MadddWWWorld) September 19, 2017
Trump is facing criticism over what some are calling his “warmongering” speech at the General Assembly, where he warned: “We will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. The United States is ready, willing and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary.”
The president’s words were met with stunned silence from United Nations diplomats in the room, according to the official White House press pool report. “The applause for POTUS when he was introduced was muted at best and most in the room listened attentively but stone faced, many of them with earphones providing translation,” the report said. “At the end, there was fuller, polite applause, though not rousing or enthusiastic.”
Critics on Twitter certainly made their voices heard, however.
In front of the UN he called N. Korea leader "rocket man" that is pathetic. Grow up, act like a leader. https://t.co/rdvq5lIyAP— Scott Dworkin (@funder) September 19, 2017
I think it's gonna be a long, long time till other countries respect this nation again. #RocketMan— Fredrick Soukup (@21stcenturyfred) September 19, 2017
Remember when JFK went to UN and called Khrushchev Rocket Man & threatened to totally destroy Russia if he didn't remove missiles from Cuba?— Lawrence O'Donnell (@Lawrence) September 19, 2017
Trump's ignorant hate speech belongs in medieval times-not the 21st Century UN -unworthy of a reply. Fake empathy for Iranians fools no one.— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) September 19, 2017
Wrote one Twitter user: “Trump’s ignorant hate speech belongs in medieval times-not the 21st Century UN -unworthy of a reply.”