President Donald Trump on Wednesday declared himself “the Chosen One” as he defended his administration’s actions in the ongoing U.S.-China trade war.
The president’s self-aggrandizing remark followed a string of criticisms aimed at his predecessors, whom he claimed had ignored the consequences of China’s trade practices. “This isn’t my trade war, this is a trade war that should have taken place a long time ago,” Trump told reporters outside the White House.
“Somebody had to do it,” the president said. He added, while looking to the heavens: “I am the Chosen One.”
Trump continued: “Somebody had to do it, so I’m taking on China. I’m taking on China on trade, and you know what? We’re winning.”
“I was put here by people,” the president said. “I was put here by people to do a great job. And that’s what I’m doing.”
Earlier Wednesday, Trump retweeted a right-wing pundit’s flattering, messiah-flavored comments about the president’s support in Israel. “The Jewish people in Israel love him like he’s the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God,” said that supporter, Wayne Allyn Root. The Trump administration is gearing up to slap new tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of Chinese imports. Trump has already imposed 25% tariffs on roughly $250 billion in Chinese goods, and has vowed to apply 10% duties to about all remaining Chinese imports by mid-December.
Some of those tariffs will go into effect Sept. 1, while other were recently delayed until Dec. 15 to avoid harming U.S. consumers during the holiday season.
Beijing has retaliated by taxing about $110 billion in U.S. imports, and more recently by announcing that it would no longer buy U.S. agriculture products.
Trump spoke before traveling to Kentucky, where he was scheduled to speak at a convention for U.S. veterans.