Nuclear Trump memes are helping Twitter cope with FBI raid news

Bruno Cooke August 12, 2022
Nuclear Trump memes are helping Twitter cope with FBI raid news
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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The FBI was looking for classified documents related to nuclear weapons when they searched the Mar-a-Lago resort home of former POTUS Donald Trump this week, The Washington Post reports (via CNN). Memes, as ever, have sprouted on Twitter and elsewhere in response.

Trump published a statement on Monday evening (August 8, 2022) saying a “large group” of FBI agents were at Mar-a-Lago, his residence in Palm Beach.

He also said they had broken into his safe.

Now reports have emerged regarding what the FBI was looking for. The news has spread like wildfire on social media, prompting a new generation of Trump nuclear memes.

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Trump has entered into the meme space via a post to his Truth Social platform. He is calling the “nuclear weapons issue” a “hoax.”

“Just like Russia,” he writes. “Russia was a Hoax, two Impeachments were a Hoax. Why wouldn’t the FBI allow the inspection of areas at Mar-a-Lago with our lawyer’s (sic), or others, present. Made them wait outside in the heat, wouldn’t let them get even close – said ‘ABSOLUTELY NOT.’ Planting information anyone?”

“Here we go people,” one Twitter user writes in response to a screenshot of the Truth Social post. “It’s gonna be a extra crazy news day. Buckle up y’all.” Note: there is no evidence as yet that the FBI even found anything, let alone planted something.

Others have suggested Trump release security camera footage that might show documents being planted. 

Photo by John Roca/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images

Memes are how the internet copes – Trump nuclear documents story gets the treatment

A popular meme that’s been floating around on Twitter in the days following the initial search warrant execution at Mar-a-Lago holds: “This could happen to anyone.”

One Twitter user writes it’s “chilling to realize this could happen to any one of us after live-tweeting 34 consecutive crimes.”

Others have tweeted similar jokes:

Meanwhile, the Twitter account for grassroots political organization Occupy Democrats tweeted on August 8 that a new report allegedly revealed: “Trump wanted the military to be more like Nazis.” The exchange was detailed in an excerpt from a book – not yet published – by journalists Susan Glasser and Peter Baker. NBC covered it here.

‘Did Trump actually steal nuclear codes or is that just tonight’s meme?’

The specific wording The Washington Post and CNN use is important. The FBI sought to locate “classified documents related to nuclear weapons.”

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Post cites “people familiar with the investigation.” It does not specify who. It also adds the following caveat: they did not offer “additional details” about “what type of information the agents were seeking” or “whether any such documents were recovered.”

In other words, there is currently no evidence in the public domain that Trump (or anyone else) had actually taken documents relating to nuclear weapons to Mar-a-Lago, let alone nuclear codes. There is also no evidence the FBI found anything.

But, having said that, it would also be misleading to characterize the notion Trump had “stolen nuclear codes” as simply “tonight’s meme.” It’s because of real reports regarding what the FBI was looking for at Trump’s residence that so many memes have sprouted about the former president’s relationship with nuclear codes.

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Twitterer makes Home Alone 2 joke at Trump’s expense

Again, it should be very clear there is no evidence in the public domain that Trump stole “nuclear secrets.” Or that he sold them to anyone. 

Again, the wording The Washington Post, which initially broke the story, uses is: “Classified documents relating to nuclear weapons were among the items FBI agents sought in a search of former president Donald Trump’s Florida residence on Monday.”

Trump is innocent until proven guilty. But the joke has picked up almost 90K likes, so it’s worth including here: 

The notion there might be other members of the Home Alone 2 cast to have done something like that has proven popular. 

Meanwhile, others have been sharing a US House of Representatives staff report – from 2019 – on whistleblowers’ “grave concerns” regarding the Trump administration’s “efforts to transfer sensitive nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia,” which has likely informed some of the memes, jokes and ideas to evolve from this week’s news.

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Bruno is a novelist, amateur screenwriter and journalist with interests in digital media, storytelling, film and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, but returned to the UK for a degree (and because of the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or onurbicycle.com.