HBO rebukes Trump for tweeting self-promotional 'Game of Thrones' memes
Today, the US Department of Justice finally released a redacted version of the 400-page Mueller report, which is like The Winds Of Winter for news junkies. (But with less descriptions of feasts and boobs.) The two-year investigation resulted in criminal charges for 34 individuals, including Trump's former adviser, Trump's former campaign chair and Trump's former attorney - but not President Donald J. Trump himself. (What a twist!)
Previously, Attorney General William Barr, who was appointed by Trump, released a four-page summary of the report, although, as we all know, words are wind. Barr said the Special Counsel did not establish conspiracy or coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia's efforts to interfere with the 2016 election, nor did he make a decision as to whether to prosecute Trump for obstruction of justice, quoting, "While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."
Trump then summarized Barr's summary of Mueller's report in a tweet: "No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION." Critics pointed out that this conclusion was not entirely accurate, and clamored for the release of the full report. Today they got their wish, and journalists have already discovered various examples of suspicious behavior on behalf of Trump. (But evidently nothing strong enough to charge him, robbing us of an exciting 'trial by combat.')
Of course, the president's take on the redacted Mueller report is less nuanced and more sweet summer child. On Twitter, he posted a bizarre reference to the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones. The image shows Trump lurking in smoke with his back to the camera - you know, like innocent people - while text in Thrones font reads: "No collusion. No obstruction. For the haters and the radical Democrats, Game Over."
In the replies, many people pointed out that, once again, Trump's claim is not entirely accurate. However, the most amusing response came from HBO, who rebuked POTUS for using their intellectual property for self-promotion. "Though we can understand the enthusiasm for Game of Thrones now that the final season has arrived, we still prefer our intellectual property not be used for political purposes," stated a network representative by raven to various news outlets.
This isn't the first time Trump has made the bizarre decision to swipe imagery from the HBO series. He previously tweeted similar memes to promote Iran sanctions, and the U.S. Mexico border wall, although Game of Thrones is a show about how a giant border wall fails to keep people safe. (Somebody's behind a couple seasons!)
In response, HBO tweeted, "How do you say trademark misuse in Dothraki?" The network is likely joking, as they have taken no formal legal action to sue Trump, or offer to let him take the black. According to The Hollywood Reporter, POTUS could defend his use of the imagery through fair use, since memes are so common in today's culture. (It is unclear if Trump can explain his use of Thrones imagery, though. Does he really like the show or is he just swiping memes from fervid supporters?)
Last October, A Song Of Ice And Fire author George R.R. Martin said Donald Trump reminded him of one of his characters: the petulant, childish King Joffrey.
"They have the same level of emotional maturity," Martin told the New York Times / T Magazine. "And Joffrey likes to remind everyone that he's king. And he thinks that gives him the ability to do anything. And we're not an absolute monarchy, like Westeros is. We're a constitutional republic. And yet, Trump doesn't seem to know what that means. He thinks the presidency gives him the power to do anything. And so, yeah, Joffrey is Trump."