US President Donald Trump posted a photoshopped picture of his face superimposed on the body of fictional boxer Rocky Balboa, who was played by actor Sylvester Stallone, and appeared in several sequel films throughout the 1980s.
The image was taken from the theatrical release poster for the 1982 movie Rocky III, which featured a shirtless, glove-clad Stallone above the caption, “The Greatest Challenge.”
The 73-year-old offered no explanation in the tweet for the image of himself as a young boxer, leading commentators to offer their own satirical interpretations.
“Now we know what they did to him at that mysterious doctor’s visit?” NBC News anchor Andrea Mitchell posted to Twitter.
The image is likely part of Trump’s efforts to counter rumors that the president had suffered a heart attack on November 17, when he was checked into the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
At a reelection rally in Florida on Tuesday, Trump fumed at length about the hospital visit.
He claimed, wrongly, that major media outlets were reporting he had had a “massive” heart attack when he was taken, without prior notice, to the Walter Reed military hospital.
In fact, most media questioned the unusual circumstances of the visit, which would usually have been flagged in advance. The White House said afterward that Trump had simply decided to do part of his annual physical exam early, in order to save time later.
According to his last medical exam, in February, Trump is technically obese, but in good health. He rarely exercises, other than playing golf — as he did at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Wednesday.
At the rally, Trump insisted he was in perfect health and joked that he had not worn a tie during the hospital visit — a fact some observers pointed to as suggesting he was unwell at the time — because he knew the doctors would demand, as he put it, to “take off your shirt, sir, and show us that gorgeous chest.”
He added, mimicking the purported physicians: “We’ve never seen a chest quite like it.”
A few hours later, apparently continuing the joke, he tweeted out the Stallone photo mashup.
AFP contributed to this report.