Polish social media users did little to conceal their distaste and outrage at Donald Tusk, the former President of the European Council, after he posted a photo on social media in which it appears to show him pretending to shoot U.S. President Donald Trump in the back with his fingers.
A day after the conclusion of the NATO summit in London, Tusk, who also previously served as prime minister in Poland, posted a photo on Twitter in which he is pointing his fingers at Trump’s back in what looks to be in the form of a gun.
Just moments after posting this photo, the online discussion became heated as hundreds of critical comments appeared beneath it, with many social media users finding Tusk’s gesture highly distasteful.
TVP Info portal head Samuel Pereira could not hide his disbelief at the photo, saying, “No, this is not fake or photoshopped. This is Donald Tusk and the photo which he himself posted on Twitter.”
Another journalist, Patryk Osowski emphasized the bad taste of Tusk’s joke and lack of diplomatic tact.
“There are funny jokes and misguided jokes. This one is tragic from a diplomatic point of view. Aiming at the back of another politician?” asked Osowski.
Given Tusk’s new status at the president of the European People’s Party and his ambitions to remain active in Polish politics, many were questioning why Tusk would antagonise the leader of the United States, the country that serves as one of Poland’s primary allies.
Another internet users drew attention to Angela Merkel’s shocked reaction to Tusk’s gesture, saying:
“Even Angela Merkel is quite shocked.”
Some other users compared the photo to the infamous one of Donald Tusk and Russian President Vladimir Putin taken on April 10, 2010, shortly after the Smoleńsk catastrophe in which President Lech Kaczyński died:
“Tusk and Trump, Tusk and Putin”
Tusk i Trump, Tusk i Putin pic.twitter.com/JfrUzMiU36
— Paweł Rybicki (@Rybitzky) 5 December 2019
While some wanted to give Tusk the benefit of the doubt, others questioned why Tusk would post a photo of himself pointing his fingers at Trump’s back in the form of a gun if he truly wanted to highlight their “friendship”.
Most world leaders and politicians post photos of themselves standing side by side with other politicians, as Tusk demonstrates in other photos on his Twitter feed, including the post he made right before the one he posted with Trump.
Despite the outcry, the post still remains active on Tusk’s Twitter page at the time of publication.