The Dalai Lama appeared on British morning television Wednesday for a wide-ranging interview with former tabloid editor and CNN anchor Piers Morgan. During their conversation, Morgan asked the Tibetan cleric-in-exile what he thought of Donald Trump, a figure who looms large in the global imagination ahead of the U.S. presidential election in November.
In keeping with his responses to the same question in other interviews in the West, the Dalai Lama immediately said he didn't know what to think of the Republican nominee and that he had not met him. But he did offer a rather striking impersonation of the businessman and former reality show star.
The Dalai Lama placed his hand over his head to mimic Trump's distinct coif of hair. Then he gestured to his lips — "his mouth ... small" — and used the same hand to show a small mouth quickly opening and closing.
"That's my impression," said the Buddhist holy man. Morgan burst into laughter.
The impression was relatively convincing, as Morgan noted at the end of the clip. Trump's hair and mouth are often the main features of the caricatures drawn by Washington Post cartoonists Tom Toles and Ann Telnaes.
The Dalai Lama, although no longer the leader of the Tibetan government-in-exile, remains the spiritual anchor of his people's beleaguered movement and a sounding board for the rest of the world on a host of global issues. In recent months, he has spoken in defense of refugees and multiculturalism.
In March, during an interview with ABC, he was also asked for his thoughts on Trump. His reaction then was a bit more guarded.
“Well, that’s your business,” the Dalai Lama said. “But sometimes I feel, too much personal criticism,” he went on. “A serious discussion about policy matters is useful. But sometimes a little bit personal criticism — that looks a little bit cheap. That’s my view.”
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