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.

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Chill Blinton (@chillblinton) on

On the “always has been” astronaut meme format:

"He just always has" from dankmemes

Excuse me son? from dankmemes

Noooooooo, you can’t perform self defence from memes

A simple spell from memes

That’s not my job anymore from memes

TFW it’s all cake: