President Donald Trump fumed on Twitter after a recent New York Times article reported that the president, in a meeting this past March, suggested a moat filled with snakes or alligators to fortify his long-sought wall at the southern border.
Trump claimed the reports, which were relayed to the Times by multiple officials present for the meeting, were fake news. Unfortunately, Trump was too distracted by his rage to notice a rather embarrassing typo.
Trump: WHO'S GONNA PAY FOR THE MOOT? Cult: MEXICO! Build that Moot! Build that Moot! Build that Moot! https://t.co/W2z8siy0pO— ReaganRepublican (@ReaganRepublican)1570031108.0
It wasn't long before Trump deleted the tweet, replacing "moot" with "moat."
Now the press is trying to sell the fact that I wanted a Moat stuffed with alligators and snakes, with an electrifi… https://t.co/vzjHlA3wMe— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1570028531.0
But the internet is forever, and replacing the tweet with the correct spelling was, ironically, moot.
Soon, Merriam-Webster trolled Trump about the typo with a masterful tweet.
'Moot' (n) : ⚖️ a deliberative assembly primarily for the administration of justice; especially : one held by the f… https://t.co/dJ4DToAhEE— Merriam-Webster (@Merriam-Webster)1570031546.0
Using a lesser-known, but more relevant definition of "moot," given the context, Merriam-Webster helped Trump learn the difference between the two words.
And people were cheering.
@MerriamWebster Merriam-Webster again for the win! https://t.co/IdtTxwOJiO— Debbie Resists 🍑 (@Debbie Resists 🍑)1570035887.0
@MerriamWebster @Lizerenity I knew you would come through. 👍— mscatie (@mscatie)1570033766.0
@MerriamWebster I like Presidents that can’t easily be trolled by a dictionary.— James Davis (@James Davis)1570031788.0
@MerriamWebster Dictionary trolling is the best trolling— OES rescue with a hell of a potty bark (@OES rescue with a hell of a potty bark)1570035460.0
While the dictionary may be good at making jokes, the level of cruelty indicated by the contents of the New York Times report is nothing short of shocking. In addition to the moat, the President reportedly suggested flesh-piercing spikes atop the wall, electrifying the wall, and even shooting migrants in the legs to slow them down.
this is completely deranged https://t.co/xvmRND42JY https://t.co/RWm21I3oZb— Maggie Serota (@Maggie Serota)1569967824.0
This story would be unbelievable if it wasn't so totally believable -- an absurd president who suggested, among oth… https://t.co/GN61PXO8gr— Clyde Haberman (@Clyde Haberman)1569988995.0
Assuming the human race survives the #climatecrisis and looks back at this period, it will note that .… https://t.co/O8FHmgjQAt— Zina Spezakis for Congress NJ09 🌎✊🏼🇺🇸🌈 (@Zina Spezakis for Congress NJ09 🌎✊🏼🇺🇸🌈)1569979981.0
When (if) historians look back, the news that @realDonaldTrump costed out building an alligator-filled moat the len… https://t.co/mARPr6O9AI— Bill McKibben (@Bill McKibben)1569976372.0
For many of Trump's supporters, however, the proposed atrocities were even more of a reason to support him.
Build the Wall! https://t.co/Tix56VRsg7— Pete Hegseth (@Pete Hegseth)1570027449.0
@PeteHegseth An illegal invasion is an act of war. You don't aim for their legs in war... ps I could care less if… https://t.co/xiZLkblpXT— ❌Deborah-UnTamed❌ 🇺🇸 (@❌Deborah-UnTamed❌ 🇺🇸)1570027702.0
@PeteHegseth Add piranhas to the moat to finish the job.— JonnyAbomb (@JonnyAbomb)1570034573.0
@PeteHegseth Better yet, post these in Spanish along the border. https://t.co/UCw37fxKqL— The Contrarian ⭐⭐⭐ (@The Contrarian ⭐⭐⭐)1570027537.0
The New York Times article was adapted from excerpts of Border Wars: Inside Trump's War on Immigration by New York Times correspondents Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Michael D. Shear, available for pre-order here.