Culture

This Australian Journalist Has Become A Massive Meme After Standing Up To Donald Trump

"We're lower than the world," Trump says, confidently. "Lower than the world? What does that mean?" Swan replies, looking genuinely confused.

Jonathan Swan and Donald Trump interview

Overnight, Australian journalist Jonathan Swan of news outlet AXIOS sat down with US President Donald Trump. The result? Pure chaos.

Unlike a lot of American journalists, who tend to crumple under Trump’s withering glare, Swan didn’t let the American President distract him with tangential questions. Instead, Swan kept pushing and pushing, holding Trump to his illogical answers and trying to get him to tell the truth about the US’s disastrous coronavirus numbers.

I mean, just look at this clip from the interview, in which Swan tries to get Trump to admit that America’s response to the pandemic has been insufficient.

“Take a look at some of these charts,” Trump says, ruffling through a series of printed-out A4 pages.

“I’d love to,” Swan quips.

“We’re lower than the world,” Trump says, confidently.

“Lower than the world? What does that mean?” Swan replies, looking generally confused.

Perhaps even wilder, later in the interview, Swan starts pushing Trump on his comments on disgraced socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, close associate of Jeffrey Epstein — Trump recently said that he wished the alleged child sex trafficker well. When Swan begins asking the President why he’d say such a thing, Trump appears to reference a conspiracy theory about the deceased Epstein, and then just rambles his way through a response.

You can watch the full interview, which is stuffed with such moments, here:

Basically, the whole interview has the cadence of an HBO comedy special, with some already comparing it to American satirical comedies like Veep and Succession. And you know what’s even wilder? This probably isn’t even the strangest interview Donald Trump has ever given.

Jonathan Swan: All The Best Memes

Perhaps unsurprisingly, in the hours after the interview dropped, Swan has become a meme. One moment from the interview in particular has been singled out for viral fame — early on, when Swan is ruffling through the pieces of paper that Trump has handed him, and makes a face that can only be described as pure, unrelenting confusion.

Who would have thought an Australian journalist would give a face that most accurately sums up how we all feel slogging our way through 2020?