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21 unexpected things that Donald Trump thinks are beautiful

lump of coal
Reuters/Nigel Roddis
The man loves coal.
  • Sarah Todd
By Sarah Todd

Senior reporter, Quartz and Quartz at Work

This article is more than 2 years old.

Donald Trump is a man who finds beauty in many unexpected places. As The Washington Post noted back in July, he used the word “beautiful” 35 times over the course of just 30 days.

What is most noteworthy about Trump’s preferred adjective is not simply that he uses it so often, but the ways in which he applies it. Notwithstanding his many, many comments about beautiful women—including his political opponents, members of the media, and first ladies of foreign countries—he finds beauty in a lot of inanimate objects, some very controversial. He’s also found beauty in the body language of at least one gorilla.

Presented without commentary, here is a list of 21 of the most surprising things that Trump has called “beautiful.”

1. Sleeping gas 

“They have a gas, that’s a beautiful sleeping gas, that puts people to sleep.” — In an interview with Howard Stern, describing a theoretical technique for stopping terrorist hijackings on airplanes, shortly after 9/11

2. A wall along the Mexican-US border

“It’s gonna be a real wall, it’s gonna be a high wall, it’s gonna be a beautiful [wall].” — At a February 2016 town hall with MSNBC

3. A door attached to the wall

“We’re gonna have that big, beautiful door in the wall.” — Describing the door that would allow legal immigrants into the US to a rally crowd in Nov. 2016

4. Chocolate cake, consumed while discussing air strikes

“”I was sitting at the table. We had finished dinner. We’re now having dessert. And we had the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake that you’ve ever seen and President Xi was enjoying it.” — Describing a dinner with Chinese president Xi Jinping after authorizing airstrikes in Syria in April 2017

5. Health care bills 

6. Confederate statues

7. Football players tackling each other

“Two guys, just really, beautiful tackle. Boom, 15 yards! The referee gets on television—his wife is sitting at home, she’s so proud of him. They’re ruining the game!” — While objecting to National Football League rules that aim to prevent head injuries in a rally speech in Sept. 2017

8. Military weapons

“One of the things that we will discuss is the purchase of lots of beautiful military equipment because nobody makes it like the United States.” — Describing his idea to sell weapons to Qatar in June 2017

9. Brief notes from the former US director of National Intelligence 

10. Safe zones in Syria

“What I like is [to] build a safe zone, it’s here, build a big beautiful safe zone and you have whatever it is so people can live, and they’ll be happier.” — Describing his solution for the plight of Syrian refugees, shortly after taking office in Jan. 2017

11. Belgium

“Belgium is a beautiful city.” — At a June 2016 rally in Atlanta, Georgia. (Ed note: Belgium is a country, not a city)

12. His temperament 

“My temperament is totally controlled, so beautiful.” — June 2016, in response to Hillary Clinton’s suggestion that Trump was “temperamentally unfit” to be president

13. Coal

“We’ve ended the war on beautiful, clean coal.” — At an Aug. 2017 rally in Phoenix, Arizona

14. A mask of his own face

“Look at this mask. Look at this mask. Oh wow. Wow, that’s beautiful. Look at that. Looks just like me.” — At a Sarasota, Florida rally in Nov. 2016

15. The Dakota Access Pipeline

“And you know when I approved it, it’s up and running, it’s beautiful, it’s great, everybody is happy, the sun is still shining, the water is clean.” — Upon approving the last section of the underground oil pipeline in June 2017

16. When Ted Cruz got booed at the Republican National Convention

“And the arena erupted in boos toward the end of his speech, because they saw he wasn’t going to endorse. And I thought that was a beautiful thing.” — July 2016, after Cruz declined to endorse Trump at that year’s Republican convention in Cleveland

17. Harambe the gorilla (sort of) 

“It was amazing. There were moments with the gorilla, the way he held that child, it was almost like a mother holding a baby. It looks so beautiful. And there were moments where it looked pretty dangerous.” — May 2016, discussing the Cincinnati Zoo’s decision to shoot the gorilla after a four-year-old got into the animal enclosure

18. Rooms

“This is a beautiful room, I must say. I love beautiful rooms and this is one of them.” — July 2017, delivering remarks in Warsaw, Poland

19. American tax dollars 

20. Other countries’ airports

“Our airports are like third-world countries. You go into some of these beautiful airports, you go into Dubai and you go into different places throughout the world and you see airports that are unbelievable.” — In a CNN interview from Aug. 2016

21. The phones in the White House

“These are the most beautiful phones I’ve ever used in my life.” — In a Jan. 2017 interview with the New York Times, referring to the fact that the lines were secure 

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