UPDATED with Game of Thrones cast reactions and Trump statement on sanctions: Unlike Game of Thrones, Donald Trump hasn’t won an Emmy, but in his battle with Iran and looking for a new blunt object to avoid GOP defeat in next week’s midterm elections, the president today was quick to use some of the HBO blockbuster series’ imagery.
A move that saw the premium cabler and cast members of GoT slammed the master of distraction.
Mere minutes after the White House announced this morning that sanctions would be reimposed on the Islamic republic on Monday, the ex-Celebrity Apprentice host or his minions hit Twitter with a meme that is about as GoT as you can get without being the Night King:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 2, 2018
Tweaking the “Winter is Coming” line that has characterized the soon to conclude David Benioff/D. B. Weiss-produced series based on George R.R. Martin’s book, the Trump gang went on their “hero’s journey,” to quote Kanye West again with this latest Hollywood snag. The administration also clearly is hoping they will remain rulers of the Seven Kingdoms after voters go to the ballot on November 6.
How do you say trademark misuse in Dothraki?
— HBO (@HBO) November 2, 2018
On the flipside, the White House did not respond to Deadline’s request today for comment.
Smashing another remnant of Barack Obama’s reign and throwing some red meat at red states at the same time, the administration was quick to get out the word that “President Donald J. Trump is reimposing the toughest sanctions ever on Iran, targeting many of the corrupt regime’s critical sectors.” They added, “on November 5, 2018, all United States sanctions that were lifted under the disastrous Iran nuclear deal will be fully reimposed.”
Whether that moves the political needle enough for the take-no-prisoners Trump to avoid the Democrats talking control of the House of Representatives and grabbing some Senate seats and governorships remains to be seen.
A couple of the GoT cast members had their own reactions to Trump’s tweet, and they weren’t approving, to put it mildly. “Ew,” said “Sansa Stark” actress Sophie Turner in a reply to POTUS on social media.
Then there was this from the actor who plays Arya Stark:
Not today. https://t.co/Jg51mGHPO1
— Maisie Williams (@Maisie_Williams) November 2, 2018
As for Game of Thrones, the eighth and final season of the multiple Emmy Best Drama winner is coming next year, for sure.
Here is Trump full statement on Iran sanctions, released by the White House Press Office:
In May, I announced that the United States would withdraw from the horrible, one-sided Iran nuclear deal.
This agreement failed in its fundamental objective, which was to permanently block all paths to an Iranian nuclear bomb, and it did nothing to address the regime’s malign actions across the Middle East and beyond.
Since the disastrous nuclear deal was reached, Iran’s military budget has grown by nearly 40 percent. The regime has poured billions of dollars into regional conflicts, accelerated its missile development and proliferation, and repeatedly lied about its nuclear ambitions.
On Monday, November 5, the termination of United States participation in the Iran nuclear deal will be complete. The last set of sanctions lifted under the terrible nuclear deal will come back into force, including powerful sanctions on Iran’s energy, shipping, and shipbuilding sectors, and sanctions targeting transactions with the Central Bank of Iran and sanctioned Iranian banks.
Our objective is to force the regime into a clear choice: either abandon its destructive behavior or continue down the path toward economic disaster.
The sanctions will target revenues the Iranian regime uses to fund its nuclear program and its development and proliferation of ballistic missiles, fuel regional conflict, support terrorism, and enrich its leaders.
These measures, along with 19 rounds of sanctions designations since January 2017, represent the toughest sanctions the United States has ever levied against Iran—and they are already having devastating effect on the Iranian economy.
Over the past year, the Iranian rial has lost about 70 percent of its value, and Iran’s economy is sliding into recession. Iran’s inflation rate has nearly quadrupled since May of this year, reaching almost 37 percent in October. More than 100 companies have decided to cease doing business with Iran, and we expect that number to grow. Governments and businesses should ask themselves whether continuing to deal with Iran is worth the risk.
Finally, I want to be clear that United States actions are aimed at the regime and its threatening behavior—not at the long-suffering Iranian people. For this reason, we reiterate today that the sale of food, medicine, medical devices, and agricultural commodities to Iran has long been, and remains, exempt from the sanctions.
We call on the regime to abandon its nuclear ambitions, change its destructive behavior, respect the rights of its people, and return in good faith to the negotiating table. We seek cooperation from our allies and partners in this effort.
The United States remains open to reaching a new, more comprehensive deal with Iran that forever blocks its path to a nuclear weapon, addresses the entire range of its malign actions, and is worthy of the Iranian people.
Until then, our historic sanctions will remain in full force.