Journalists were quick to react on social media to President Donald Trump's first speech to the the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, with many expressing angst about the president's remarks.
During his address, Trump said the U.S. will "totally destroy North Korea" if forced to defend itself and referred to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as "Rocket Man."
"No nation on earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles," Trump said at U.N. headquarters in New York City. "The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime."
Trump also castigated the Iran nuclear deal and said the Iranian regime's longest suffering victims are its own people.
"The longest suffering victims of Iran's leaders are, in fact, its own people," Trump said. "Rather than use its resources to improve Iranian lives, its oil profits go to fund Hezbollah and other terrorists that kill innocent Muslims and attack their peaceful Arab and Israeli neighbors."
Trump additionally took aim at Venezuela and the collapse of its socialist government.
"The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented," he said.
Many reporters reacted with shock at Trump's tough talk.
UN speech was a lot of Trump tweets strung together. Saber-rattling. But no clear doctrine. Threats of confrontation around the world.
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) September 19, 2017
Omg. Trump just referred to Kim Jong Un as Rocket Man. in his UN speech.
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) September 19, 2017
Like most speeches he gives, this was Trump playing to his base: Sovereignty, tough talk, world community needs to do more, populism
— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) September 19, 2017
— Evan McMurry (@evanmcmurry) September 19, 2017
Other journalists criticized the president's remarks.
Don't kid yourself. Trump gave a crap #UNGA speech other countries will cite only to remind him that he shouldn't violate their sovereignty.
— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) September 19, 2017
At least he didn't defend white supremacists
— Jessica Schulberg (@jessicaschulb) September 19, 2017
Sometimes I think Donald Trump has given up on the idea of ever being respected by anyone other than his "deplorables." https://t.co/EKK0W0UJgK
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) September 19, 2017
Inviting Donald Trump to speak at the UN is like inviting an arsonist to speak at a fire protection convention.
— Sally Kohn (@sallykohn) September 19, 2017
Former Obama administration officials were also unhappy with Trump's speech. White House national security adviser and failed novelist Ben Rhodes, Justice Department spokesman Brian Fallon, and Justice Department official Eric Columbus, all of whom held their positions in the Obama administration, shared their criticism of Trump's speech.
Trump at UN totally alienating the US from our allies and taking a position that will have no global support https://t.co/8TOmttmwxC
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) September 19, 2017
"We call for the full restoration of democracy in Venezuela" says Trump, after saying US does not seek to impose its way of life on others
— Brian Fallon (@brianefallon) September 19, 2017
Trump prides himself on unpredictability. The incoherence in this speech may be a feature not a bug. https://t.co/RMqgGDoOv3
— Eric Columbus (@EricColumbus) September 19, 2017
Who's gonna tell Trump that threatening to cancel the Iran nuclear deal only convinces N Korea there's no such thing as a deal with USA?
— Lawrence O'Donnell (@Lawrence) September 19, 2017