Embarrassing Things That Donald Trump Was The First President To Do

Trying to kick transgender people out of the military. Talking about sh*thole countries. Throwing paper towels at hurricane survivors in Puerto Rico. Calling white supremacists "very fine" people. Encaging children after separating them from their parents (all the former per The Atlantic). Tear-gassing peaceful protesters so he could cross the street for a photo op and hold a Bible upside down (per NPR). Mocking Serge Kovaleski, a reporter who has the congenital joint-stiffening condition arthrogryposis (per CNN). The endless string of incendiary comments, all-caps Twitter rants, embarrassing faux pas, and sheer, undignified unkindness. And sure: covfefe.

Yes, the Donald Trump presidency has been a time replete with "firsts." It's also been a time of scathing embarrassment, particularly in the eyes of the international community. Donald Trump, American commander in chief, has given us all a chance to learn precisely what is meant by the German word fremdschämen (feeling ashamed because someone else has done something embarrassing to themselves and not noticed). Even if any of the aforementioned, mortifying actions didn't get eclipsed by actual, violent events like the attack on the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021, or subsequent accusations of sedition, or Trump's now-second impeachment, they're embarrassing enough, in and of themselves, to make us ask: How exactly did we get here, again? And for that matter, what is existence? 

So in the interest of psychological well-being, let's go ahead and check out some additional cringetastic things that President Trump has been the first president to do.

Impeachment and the number 232

Top of the facepalm list? Donald Trump is the first president in history to be impeached twice. As The Sun recounts, Trump was first impeached on December 18, 2019, under charges of abuse of power and obstruction of justice. Trump was accused of inviting foreign interference into a U.S. election in the form of pressuring Ukraine into investigating now-President-elect Joe Biden and withholding $391 million in aid to do so. He was also accused of blocking the impeachment's inquiry, which led to its second charge, as USA Today explains. Trump was acquitted on February 5, 2020. 

This time — the second impeachment — the sole article is, as The Guardian states, "inciting an insurrection," per the January 6 U.S. Capitol attacks. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump represents a "clear and present danger to the nation we all love." Ten Republicans jumped on board the January 13 vote, including Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, who said, "There has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the constitution," also per The Guardian.

With those extra Republican supporters, the final vote of the impeachment was 232 to 197. The first number of that vote might stand out to you if you recall the recent presidential election, where Trump lost to Biden by a final vote of 306 to (wait for it) 232. The number itself might not be embarrassing, but it's definitely a first.

A comically exhausting avalanche of embarrassment

As ABC News says, Trump joins a small cadre of presidents (10 total) to secure only one term. He's also, as the Associated Press outlines, only the fifth president to lose the popular vote but win the election. Add this to his impeachment charges (he's only the fourth to be impeached) and you've got a potent cocktail of novel chagrin. In addition to the blitzkrieg of aforementioned embarrassment, Trump has the ignobility of being many presidential firsts.

Trump isn't the first former businessman president (there were six others, per Time), but he is the first former businessman president with so many horribly failed and bankrupted ventures, like Trump University and Trump Steaks, as Rolling Stone outlines. 

Trump isn't the first former entertainer president (remember Reagan?), but he is the first former entertainer president to be fired in a manner so satisfyingly similar to how he dispatched people during the Celebrity Apprentice ("You're Fired")

Trump isn't the first divorcee president (remember Reagan?), but he is the first to be divorced two times prior, as Huff Post says. Divorce itself isn't necessarily embarrassing, but for the "party of family values"? Your call.

And finally, Trump isn't the first president to use Twitter, but he's definitely the president with the most tweets (59,553 from 2009 to 2021, per Tweetbinder). Okay, plenty of other historical presidents never had the chance to use Twitter, but really — Do you think any president is ever going to tweet more?