MIND THE OPTICS

Trump gave a speech on good and evil—and then posed for a pic making him look spectacularly evil

You can’t make this stuff up. In a scene that would do sitcom writers proud, US president Donald Trump followed a speech in Saudi Arabia about good and evil by striking a super-villain pose straight out of the comic books or Nordic-inspired quest trilogies.

In the May 21 photo, Trump joins Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi by placing both hands on a glowing orb, evoking evil masterminds intent on world domination.

In reality, Trump was helping to inaugurate the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology in Saudi Arabia, which will work against speech that aims to radicalize. The pose was meant to signify a commitment to ending terrorism. A video about the center’s mission started overhead after the leaders touched the orb.

But to many, especially Twitter’s many, many Lord of the Rings fans, the scene looked like something else:

After the initial shock wore off, there was plenty of snark as well:


Read next: “This is a battle between good and evil”: Donald Trump’s speech to the Muslim world

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