The Brief: Donald Trump's interview with Jonathan Swan for "Axios on HBO" inspired a number of reactions and memes including image macros of Swan looking confused and bewildered after Trump hands him a piece of paper.


An “Axios on HBO” interview that aired on August 3 featured reporter Jonathan Swan interviewing Donald Trump. Clips from this interview and outrageous comments that Trump made quickly turned into a variety of memes. One particularly popular meme is an image macro format that shows the reporter reading a piece of paper handed to him by Trump with a very confused expression on his face.

These images come from an exchange in which Swan was remarking on the United States’ high Coronavirus deaths by a proportion of the population, but Trump would only talk about a different statistic: deaths as a proportion of cases. The president even said “you can’t do that” when Swan mentioned the high death rate.

Jonathan Swan’s expressions throughout the interview made for a number of popular reaction memes. One multi-panel format is particularly popular as it allows meme-makers to Photoshop something strange or surprising on the piece of paper, suggesting that Swan’s bewildered and confused expression is a result of that picture.

Confused Reporter vs. Trump’s Paper Memes

“Confused reporter reading paper from Trump” memes are widespread on Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, and beyond.

On the “always has been” astronaut meme format:

“He just always has”
byu/theawesomehobbes indankmemes

Excuse me son?
by indankmemes

Noooooooo, you can’t perform self defence
byu/fungiboi673 inmemes

A simple spell
by inmemes

That’s not my job anymore
byu/ItsAnOakyAfterbirth inmemes

TFW it’s all cake: