Don Jr mocked for retweeting post joking that China should receive a Trump blimp

While social media users mocked the balloon drama, the Chinese were not laughing over the destruction of their aircraft

Graig Graziosi
Tuesday 07 February 2023 07:41 GMT
Related video: China threatens response after US shoots down ‘spy’ balloon

The drama surrounding a suspected Chinese spy balloon floating over the US dominated headlines last week and was immediately adopted into partisan political slugging in the mass media.

Some conservative commentators were apoplectic, claiming Joe Biden was irresponsible for not shooting the balloon down earlier, while Democrats defended the president, noting that similar balloons had entered US airspace during the Trump administration.

Mr Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr, took a different approach, sharing on social media that he believes in something more akin to a cultural exchange with Beijing.

On Sunday, he shared a screenshot of a tweet that said "honestly, if I were Trump, I'd be flying this beauty over Beijing by morning." The "beauty" referenced in the caption is shown in several photos to be the 2018 protest balloon depicting Donald Trump as a fat, snarling baby with a cellphone and a diaper.

The former president's son thought the idea — and the absurd image — were amusing.

"Not gonna lie ... this is funny," Mr Trump Jr wrote alongside the photo.

Mr Trump Jr was predictably swarmed by critics, and those critics were predictably attacked by rabid defenders of the former president's son.

Rick Smith, a political show host, replied with an illustration of Mr Trump behind bars, noting that "this is better."

Another user shared an image of the Trump baby balloon along with a satirical headline reading "Breaking: Russian Spy Balloon Observed Over Florida."

A user named JoJoFromJerz on Twitter recalled how the balloon was used to mock the former president across Europe.

"A giant balloon of your manbaby daddy," she wrote. "That thing traveled the world and people laughed heartily at his expense. Yeah I get why the forgotten spawn might find this funny."

Most of the conservatives replying thought the post was funny, though some took the extra step to take a shot at Mr Biden.

One user posted a photoshopped image of the president looking confused as Vice President Kamala Harris appears to read a children’s book titled "The Lost Balloon" to him.

Mr Biden reportedly gave the green light to shoot the balloon down on Wednesday, but military advisers told him to wait until the balloon was over water to avoid potential damage caused by the falling debris, according to the Associated Press.

Republican lawmakers claimed the balloon’s presence was a brazen attempt by Beijing to show the world the US is not prepared or willing to face China in tense global situations.

“The message they [Beijing] were trying to send is what they believe internally, and that is that the United States is a once great superpower that’s hollowed out, that’s in decline,” Senator Marco Rubio, vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said. “And the message they’re trying to send the world is, ‘Look, these guys can’t even do anything about a balloon flying over U.S. airspace. How can you possibly count on them if something were to happen in the Indo-Pacific region?’”

The balloon was ultimately shot down on Saturday by the US military, prompting the Chinese government to condemn the US for attacking its unmanned aircraft.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng said he lodged a formal complaint with the U.S. Embassy on Sunday, claiming the US attacked "a Chinese civilian unmanned airship by military force,” and threatening “further action.”

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