Friday morning, President Trump used Twitter to issue a rare kind of foreign-policy announcement: a slogan lifted from a pop-culture meme, repurposed to vaguely suggest future political action. And it drew criticism from one significant party: HBO, who cited its “trademark” in disapproving of the president’s choice of message delivery.
That response came as a result of Trump using both a Game of Thrones-styled typeface (including its crossed-O design) and a co-opting of that series’ popular “Winter is coming” motto. Trump’s version twists the phrase to announce, “sanctions are coming,” which is an apparent call to reinstate economic sanctions against Iran that had been lifted in a landmark 2015 deal made by an international coalition.
When we asked HBO for comment, the company offered a one-sentence statement: “We were not aware of this messaging and would prefer our trademark not be misappropriated for political purposes.”