Trump grabs glowing Saudi orb, sparks jokes, memes
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Trump grabs glowing Saudi orb, sparks jokes, memes

US president, Arab leaders in Riyadh launch anti-extremism center by touching illuminated globe; internet goes to town

A screenshot of US President Donald Trump, Saudi King Salman and Egyptian President Abdel-Fatah al-Sissi touching a glowing globe to launch the opening of an anti-extremisn center in Riyadh on May 21, 2017. (Screenshot)
A screenshot of US President Donald Trump, Saudi King Salman and Egyptian President Abdel-Fatah al-Sissi touching a glowing globe to launch the opening of an anti-extremisn center in Riyadh on May 21, 2017. (Screenshot)

A picture showing US President Donald Trump and Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia laying hands on a mysterious, glowing orb sparked a wave of jokes and memes online on Sunday.

The image of Trump, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi all touching a small illuminated globe appeared to confuse internet users, who began jokingly drawing parallels to a number of popular sci-fi films.

The leaders were in fact inaugurating a new state-of-the-art center in Riyadh to monitor and combat extremism, each placing their hands on the globe that officially activated the center and launched a splashy welcome video.

But Twitter users seemed to have a fun time cracking jokes at the image, with even the Church of Satan jumping in with an announcement that the globe-grabbing was not some “satanic ritual.”

The new Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology featured a giant wall filled with screens displaying real-time online extremist activity. More than two hundred data analysts also worked on their individual computer screens during the visit.

The White House did not immediately provide information as to any US involvement in the creation of the center. The project began two years ago, before Trump took office.

Trump is wrapping up a visit to the Saudi kingdom on Monday, heading to Israel and then Europe on the president’s first foreign trip.

For more orb-related tweets, click here.

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