The irony inherent in the Trump team’s repeated demands for us to take them seriously while President Donald Trump’s outlandish lies keep piling up remains strong. This week, sitting next to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the White House, he wrongly claimed that his father was born in Germany. In reality, Fred Trump was born in New York, although his father — Donald’s grandfather — was a German immigrant. That grandfather (Freidrich) first came to the U.S. in the 1890s, before returning to his homeland — from which he was soon expelled for having emigrated illegally, settling back in New York.
No matter the reality of his ancestry, Trump proudly proclaimed while sitting next to Stoltenberg:
‘Germany is honesty not paying their fair share [of NATO costs]. My father is German — was German. Born in a very wonderful place in Germany, so I have great feeling for Germany.’
Trump just said “my father is German, was German. Born in a very wonderful place in Germany.” Fred Trump was born in New York. pic.twitter.com/U6eWYPzjrJ
— Tommy MMXIXtopher (@tommyxtopher) April 2, 2019
Remarkably, it’s not the first time that Trump has shared this made-up piece of family history. While discussing the European Union as a supposed foe of the United States last July, Trump claimed his father’s German origin as supposed evidence that he really does “care” in the situation.
‘Maybe the thing that is most difficult — don’t forget both my parents were born in E.U. sectors, okay? I mean, my mother was Scotland, my father was Germany. And you know I love those countries.’
In reality, Trump has repeatedly ripped into Germany, whose leader Angela Merkel is one of the few high-profile, left-leaning leaders in the Western world with the rise of figures like Trump and the United Kingdom’s Theresa May. Merkel has been joined in her liberalism by the upstart French President Emmanuel Macron — who Trump has also targeted. The belligerent U.S. president freaked out at the prospect of the E.U. building up its own defense separate from NATO, which Trump has long stumped for member countries to pay more to support. He drew all the way back to World War II in his criticism of the plans, pointing to the fact that “They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along” so France had better pay more for NATO.
As for Merkel, at a 2018 NATO summit, Trump interrupted a meeting with a tirade accusing member countries — particularly Germany — of being “deadbeats and free riders on American power,” in the description of The New Yorker. He suggested publicly that Germany was in Russia’s pocket of all things on account of their energy cooperation.
How are we supposed to trust the Trump team’s adversarial stance on all of these major global issues if he can’t even get where his father was born right? What is really going on inside the White House? A third time — at that same NATO summit at which he melted down over member states’ contributions — Trump lied that his father was born in Germany.
This is the guy whose team is currently handling the future of the United States and its position in the world. Perhaps its no wonder that he’s threatening to completely close a major United States border over a made-up crisis since he’s this bumbling on a base level.
Featured Image via screenshot