President Donald Trump on Friday tweeted a Game of Thrones-inspired meme of himself declaring new sanctions against Iran, and HBO isn't happy about it.
The image, emblazoned with "SANCTIONS ARE COMING NOVEMBER 5," is a play on "Winter is Coming," setting the stage for the final battle between the living and the dead in HBO's hit series. Trump's poster also copied Game of Thrones' signature font style.
https://t.co/nk2vKvHuaL— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1541174504.0
A few minutes later, the White House retweeted Trump's message along with a dark announcement of its own:
"The United States has launched a campaign of economic pressure to deny the regime the funds it needs to advance its bloody agenda!"
The United States has launched a campaign of economic pressure to deny the regime the funds it needs to advance its… https://t.co/UKhn592Iei— The White House (@The White House) 1541174669.0
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, HBO said it does not approve of its show's brand being used for political purposes.
"We were not aware of this messaging and would prefer our trademark not be misappropriated for political purposes."
HBO also tweeted: "How do you say copyright infringement in Dothraki?"
How do you say trademark misuse in Dothraki?— HBO (@HBO) 1541183079.0
Must be a field day over there.
HBO PR department right now like https://t.co/Dd95QJMulH— Dave Itzkoff (@Dave Itzkoff) 1541175354.0
Reactions on Twitter were priceless.
J.K. Rowling nailed it.
He who lives by the meme, dies by the meme. https://t.co/UdnqE9Sslr— J.K. Rowling (@J.K. Rowling) 1541179001.0
Scott Dworkin was at a loss for words.
What the fucking fuck is this stupid fucking nonsense? Enough. #VoteDem https://t.co/9pdZJ8qrXp— Scott Dworkin (@Scott Dworkin) 1541180630.0
Sanctions really aren't something to gloat about.
This is frankly disgusting. I was responsible, directly, for U.S. sanctions against Iran for a long while. I took p… https://t.co/3UOiCUD9RL— Richard Nephew (@Richard Nephew) 1541175316.0
This is what happens when 'rock bottom' rears its head and says, "hold my beer."
Not today. https://t.co/Jg51mGHPO1— Maisie Williams (@Maisie Williams) 1541179986.0
It appears the governing of the United States has changed from a reality TV show into a fantasy TV show. https://t.co/bUoNRwJoqu— Christina Wilkie (@Christina Wilkie) 1541174849.0
i'm starting to question whether we are a grown-up, adult country https://t.co/vsnJjev3d2— Dave Itzkoff (@Dave Itzkoff) 1541174921.0
Nothing to see here, just the person occupying the White House announcing policy through a party club flyer. Move i… https://t.co/Kx1muMUOC0— 972-Ask-Chad (@972-Ask-Chad) 1541175352.0
Like, this took work; real effort. Our tax dollars are hard at work.
Someone had to open up photoshop, make this, save the file, export the file, put this in a tweet and hit "Tweet" https://t.co/HY5xfjdjQJ— Warm Boy Kof (@Warm Boy Kof) 1541175119.0
Naturally, Twitterers fired back with Robert Mueller memes.
This next season is gonna be great https://t.co/GfwNDA6Mh8— Brian Koerber (@Brian Koerber) 1541175500.0
@funder https://t.co/fS0yPlgV3y— Kevin Stevenson (@Kevin Stevenson) 1541180789.0
https://t.co/gakfSIacxf— darth™ (@darth™) 1541176981.0
Others questioned whether Trump has ever watched Game of Thrones, but given its complex plot and hour-plus-long episodes, probably not.
I bet he doesn't even watch Game of Thrones. https://t.co/rEmH6WsXwu— Rob Young (@Rob Young) 1541175384.0
But what if he does?
@HBO Trump's favorite GoT character is Joffrey— Ben Schroeder (@Ben Schroeder) 1541183241.0
@BENEF1T @HBO I would say Ramsay Bolton is his a close second fav..— Alexander D. Great One (@Alexander D. Great One) 1541183534.0
@TinaMcGugan @koolta1983 @BENEF1T @HBO Nope, his favorite character is Reek. He sees himself as Ramsay.— Tim (@Tim) 1541183813.0
There are parallels.
there is literally a character called "the mad king" but ok https://t.co/jOe8Pv5CuI— David Mack (@David Mack) 1541174702.0
Wow, Joffrey got real old real fast, huh? https://t.co/qaAuviyQnk— Marcus Gilmer (@Marcus Gilmer) 1541174994.0
So is Trump a White Walker?— Emily C. Singer (@Emily C. Singer) 1541174862.0
Scratch one item off the parallels list.
"A Lannister always pays his debts." https://t.co/lhMYPShC3s— Matt Viser (@Matt Viser) 1541174956.0
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Friday that all of the sanctions that were lifted as part of the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal will be reimposed and will take effect on Monday, November 5 - the day before the critical midterm elections.
"On November 5th, the United States will reimpose sanctions that were lifted as part of the nuclear deal on Iran's energy, shipbuilding, shipping, and banking sectors," Pompeo said.
"These sanctions hit at core areas of Iran's economy," Pompeo explained in a call with reporters. "They're necessary to spur changes we seek on the part of the regime. In order to maximize the effect of the President's pressure campaign, we have worked closely with other countries to cut off Iranian oil exports as much as possible."
The administration has 12 conditions Iran must meet if they wish to have the sanctions lifted, CNN reported, noting that experts view each of those items as code for "regime change."
"We want to restore democracy there," Pompeo told Laura Ingraham of Fox News on Wednesday. "We think the Iranian people want that same thing, and so our aim is not to harm the Iranian people but to change the behavior, the malign activity of this regime."
Iran was a democracy until 1953 when the United States led a coup to overthrow the democratically-elected government, after which it installed a dictator, Shah Reza Pahlavi.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the new wave of sanctions will hit 700 new Iranian targets, including "individuals, entities, vessels, and aircraft."
"This includes hundreds of targets previously granted sanctions relief" under the nuclear deal, "as well more than 300 new designations," he said. "This is substantially more than we have previously done."