Internet Cringes After Trump Abruptly Leaves Medal Ceremony

On Dec. 7, 2020, President Donald Trump presented the nation's highest civilian honor to Dan Gable, a renowned wrestler and coach from Iowa, who won a gold medal at the 1972 Summer Olympics. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is presented to individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

"No one has done more to promote wrestling in America than Dan Gable. He's an athletic giant who conquered one of the most difficult and ancient sports in the world," Trump said during the ceremony. "He's the greatest wrestler, probably, ever. We've never had anybody like him. He's made our country very proud. And he's a true GOAT."

Shortly after Trump awarded Gable with the medal, Trump made a sudden exit from a Medal of Freedom ceremony, leaving the award's recipient seemingly baffled about what to do next. Footage shows Trump head for the Oval Office door. As Trump approaches the exit, in the video, a reporter can be heard asking, "Mr. President, can we have one more question about [Joe Biden's] inauguration?" Trump then turns to face the journalist before saying, "thank you very much," as he ignores the question and leaves the room.

Needless to say, the internet had quite a lot to say about Donald Trump's quick dash for the door. More on that below.

Donald Trump left wrestling legend Dan Gable hanging after giving him an award

After watching Donald Trump exit the room, the bewildered Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree Dan Gable exclaimed, "He's gone," while raising his arms in exasperation. Presidents usually take some questions from the media after a ceremony like this has finished.

Twitter lit up after a video of this moment went viral. One social media user said of the incident, "You can't make it up. This really happened earlier today: Trump wandered out of his own office and left Medal of Freedom recipient — Dan Gable — standing there wondering what to do next. What a selfish man..." While Vox reporter Aaron Rupar tweeted, "This is unreal. Trump abruptly walked out of Dan Gable's Medal of Freedom ceremony today, leaving Gable shrugging and at a complete loss about what he was supposed to do." Another tweet read, "Today @realDonaldTrump wandered out of his own office and left Medal of Freedom recipient, Dan Gable, standing there with no clue what to do. 'More Presidential than anyone in history.'"

Who knows what happened with President Trump? Maybe he got bored or confused and simply wandered away. The more likely reason Trump left the room was that he didn't want to answer any more reporters' questions. At least Gable's Presidential Medal of Freedom will be an especially memorable one.

President Trump talked about election results during the medal ceremony

President Donald Trump's invitation to wrestler Dan Gable was tied to making good on a promise Trump made during one of his rallies. In October 2020, while Trump was in Iowa, he brought the famous wrestler onstage and said that he would give Gable the Presidential Medal of Freedom, according to ESPN.

Part of Gable's notoriety is that during the 1972 Munich Olympics, none of his opponents were able to score any points against him, the outlet noted. Trump tried to draw comparisons between his own presidential terms and the wrestler's record. "I'm 2-0 and that's pretty good, too. But we'll see how that turns out," Trump incorrectly said about the 2020 election.

Trump also spoke about election results in regards to Gable's native state, Iowa, during the ceremony. According to the White House briefing statement, Trump said to Gable and the audience, "I love Iowa. I love Iowa, and I knew those polls were wrong. They had me losing Iowa, Dan, and we won Iowa by a lot. There were a lot of polls that were wrong. I love that state."

Considering how much Trump used the ceremony to push false claims about the election results, it makes sense he wanted to dash out of there before reporters could ask him questions. But Trump wasn't the only one who was done with the ceremony early.

Dan Gable's grandson had a lie-down in the Oval Office

President Donald Trump wasn't the only one in the Oval Office on Dec. 7, 2020 who was done with the Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony for Dan Gable. The wrestler's family came and Gable's grandson decided to have a little nap on the floor. Honestly, why not?

According to Today, the New York Times photographer Doug Mills captured the moment and shared it in a tweet, which has become a massive hit online. Parents everywhere seem to be identifying with the candid moment and one person tweeted in response, "Great shot! Based on the dads expression, you can almost hear the gritted teeth whisper 'get up!'" Someone else wrote, "This kid is just doing what we all feel. So tired of 2020." Another person said: "This should be their Christmas card." Totally.

While it might not have been the most elegant White House ceremony ever, it was certainly memorable. We've got Trump walking out abruptly and someone else napping on the carpet. Really, it's kind of perfect.