During Black History Month, President Donald Trump made some rather odd comments regarding Fredrick Douglas that left some wondering if Trump knew that Douglas had been dead for over a century. Now, Trump has made similar comments regarding an Italian opera singer.
While holding a press conference, which was attended by Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, Trump called referred to Luciano Pavarotti, a decade-long dead Italian opera singer as a “great friend” of his.
‘Through the ages, your country has been a beacon of artistic and scientific achievement. From Venice to Florence, from Verdi to Pavarotti. Friend of mine. Great friend of mine.’
Of course, as Gentiloni knows, Pavarotti has been dead since 2007. Therefore it is impossible for him to be a “great friend” of Trump’s. It is possible that Trump meant that Pavarotti was a friend of his while the singer was still alive, but he didn’t use the past tense. Trump did not say “Pavarotti was a great friend of mine;” he merely said “great friend of mine.” It would not surprise us to learn that Trump did not even now who Pavarotti was prior to making those comments.
To be honest, we half suspect that you could replace the name “Pavarotti” with “Cicero”, the ancient Roman orator and senator who was killed for speaking out against Mark Antony, and Trump would have made the same banal comments.
Pavarotti, for those who don’t know, was one of Italy’s most beloved musicians and was famous for his opera work. We don’t know Trump’s musical tastes so it is possible he was legitimately a fan of Pavarotti’s work, but his comment about friendship was a bit odd. It doesn’t fit with the rest of his sentence which, written by speech writers, focused on the accomplishments of the Italian people. Rather than coming across as a sincere admiration for an icon of Italian culture, it came across as petty and bragging. Then again, petty bragging sums up a large part of Trump’s career so we aren’t truly surprised by that.
You can watch the clip for yourself below.
Trump gives a shout out to Pavarotti, calls him “a good friend of mine”.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 20, 2017
Featured image via screenshot from Twitter.