Donald Trump shocked a lot of people earlier this week when he paraphrased President Harry Truman while threatening to bring “fire and fury” against North Korea. It was shocking both because Trump was threatening to start a nuclear war, and because there’s no way he’s familiar with the words of Truman. It’s led to the question of how those particular words may have gotten into Trump’s mouth. There’s now a disturbing new theory that has a lot of logic behind it.
The people in the Trump administration who would be directly familiar with Truman’s threats of nuclear war are his military Generals. But none of them would ever have put that quote in his mouth, because they’ve lived war, and they know better. Nor would any of Trump’s children have steered him in that direction. But as it turns out, “Fire and Fury” is the name of a mission in the video game World of Warcraft. And guess which Trump adviser has a professional and financial history with that particular video game company?
If you guessed Steve Bannon, you’re correct. A nearly decade old Wired article reveals that Bannon used to be the head of venture capital for the company that makes World of Warcraft (link). And sure enough, a major World of Warcraft website reveals that the game does have a level named Fire and Fury (link). This could be a coincidence, but it would be a remarkable one.
So now we’re facing the very real possibility that Donald Trump wasn’t intentionally paraphrasing Harry Truman, but rather he was using a phrase from a video game about war that was fed to him by an anarchist adviser. Steve Bannon is the one person in the Trump administration who would have urged him to say something so mutually destructive. It’s difficult to believe Trump would have gotten the line from anyone else. And if it did indeed come from Bannon, then it came from World of Warcraft.
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report