President Trump issued a proclamation reiterating his focus on American military dominance amidst concern that the latest political controversy will overshadow the joint airstrikes in Syria. After a morning tweet excoriating former FBI Director James Comey, he pivoted back to the bombing: “To celebrate this weekend’s GREAT military victory in Syria that I ordered we will hold a week of gladiatorial games in MY HONOR! #MAGA”

The announcement from Trump, whose insistence on planning a military parade already suggested an affinity for grand displays, goes farther than anyone expected. Caught unawares, administration officials scrambled to gather specifics. “We’re initially looking at using FedEx Field for our arena. We may need to change to Cowboys stadium though; he’s expecting the biggest crowds,” Sarah Sanders stated.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis confirmed Trump did not request military personnel for the games. “He said something about drug dealers instead,” Mattis revealed. Forced gladiatorial combat could mark an evolution of Trump’s proposal to push the death penalty for drug dealers as part of the opioid crisis response. Sanders would not confirm whether the president had considered the eighth amendment.