Trump Tweeted a Photo of His Face on Rocky Balboa and the Internet Erupted

On Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump inexplicably tweeted a photo of himself superimposed onto a still of Sylvester Stallone's body from the classic film Rocky. No caption accompanied the image, and while no one is really sure why Trump shared this photo, it generated a ton of responses—some entertaining, some critical, many both.

pic.twitter.com/11nzKwOCtU

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2019

The first thing many on Twitter noted was the pure strangeness of the doctored photo. The Death of Expertise author Tom Nichols sarcastically stated that it's normal for a politician to share a photo of themselves superimposed onto Rocky Balboa. Comedian Todd Barry compared the photo to one of his own shows not being sold out. CBS White House reporter Kathryn Watson likened the photo to seeing someone's photo on a dating app only to be disappointed upon meeting them in real life.

The President of the United States just sent this out, as perfectly normal national leaders often do https://t.co/1c3hPdriiU

— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) November 27, 2019

This is about as a plausible as seeing "tickets still available" the day of one of my shows. https://t.co/AzyfWnG6mQ

— Todd Barry (@toddbarry) November 27, 2019

Dating app profile pic vs. reality https://t.co/6q386CgJbz

— Kathryn Watson (@kathrynw5) November 27, 2019

Others took the opportunity to compare Trump to Balboa. USA Today opinion writer Sophia Nelson declared her love for Rocky, but her dislike of Trump. "Trump is NO Rocky Balboa," she wrote. Former Late Show with David Letterman producer Eric Stangel grilled Trump for his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, referencing Rocky IV, in which the boxer faces off against Soviet boxer Ivan Drago. "Yeah, but Rocky actually fought the Russians," he quipped. Activist group Move On likened the image to those of Putin riding a horse shirtless.

This is America's President tweeting this image of himself.
I like Rocky Balboa.
I knew Rocky Balboa growing up outside of Philadelphia in the mid to late 1970s.
Donald Trump Is NO Rocky Balboa.
(This man is unwell if you haven't noticed--wow!!!) https://t.co/UqZb1vH1KY

— Sophia A. Nelson (@IAmSophiaNelson) November 27, 2019

Yeah, but Rocky actually fought the Russians https://t.co/5U1fj2fc4i

— Eric Stangel (@EricStangel) November 27, 2019

Despite the mockery, a few supporters praised Trump both for being an exciting candidate and promoting a powerful image of himself. Creator of the comic strip Dilbert Scott Adams both predicted Trump will be elected in 2020 and dismissed his eventual successor as boring. One supporter saw the photo as a metaphor for Trump hitting back at his detractors. "TRUE CHAMPION! Only the truly stupid punch President Trump and don't expect a counterpunch," she wrote.

We are five years away from having a new president and the next one already bores me. Trump makes Joe Biden look like pocket lint. https://t.co/625O5sqeXf

— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) November 27, 2019

TRUE CHAMPION!

Only the truly stupid punch President Trump and don't expect a counterpunch.

He's taken on dynasties, the swamp & the world...

HE IS STILL STANDING!

I stand in support of TRUMP!

— CC (@ChatByCC) November 27, 2019

Many conservative reporters and commentators cracked jokes about reporters fact-checking the photo. Daily Caller White House correspondent Amber Athey dared journalists to ask White House officials if the photo was indeed doctored.

Are any brave journos going to reach out to the White House and ask if this photo is doctored? https://t.co/U3Pi2f2TUK

— Amber Athey (@amber_athey) November 27, 2019

While no one has provided any legitimate insight as to why the president opted to share the photo of himself, Jeet Heer, national affairs correspondent for The Nation, provided perhaps the most simple and thoughtful commentary.

This is both sad and funny on a whole new level https://t.co/6wrmUqcqCY

— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) November 27, 2019

Despite Trump having previously offered Stallone a position at the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rocky creator told Variety in July that he does not identify as a Republican and did not vote in 2016. "I didn't like anybody," he said.

stallone trump
Actor Sylvester Stallone (R) and President Donald Trump (L) share a laught during a signing ceremony to grant posthumous pardon to former heavyweight champion Jack Johnson in the Oval Office of the White House on May 24, 2018 in Washington, DC. On Wednesday the president tweeted a doctored image of Stallone in the film 'Rocky.' Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty