White House Staff Reportedly Had to Tell President Trump That Nepal Isn’t Pronounced ‘Nipple’
According to Politico, Trump has had a difficult time pronouncing foreign countries’ names and with respecting different time zones when he wants to make calls.
According to two sources familiar with the incident, ahead of a June 2017 meeting with Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, Trump was studying a briefer’s map of the region and pronounced Nepal as “nipple” and Bhutan as “button,” the latter through laughter.
“He didn’t know what those were. He thought it was all part of India,” someone familiar with the meeting told Politico. “He was like, ‘What is this stuff in between and these other countries?’”
Additionally, before Modi’s visit to the White House, Trump allegedly asked if the prime minister would be bringing his wife. Aides explained that Modi had been estranged from his wife for many years, to which Trump joked: “Ah, I think I can set him up with somebody.”
Time zones also reportedly gave the president a good deal of trouble. He would want to call world leaders at all hours and not remember, understand, or care that it might have been the middle of the night for that person. One diplomatic source told Politico that this issue arose on “a constant basis.”
“He wasn’t great with recognizing that the leader of a country might be 80 or 85 years old and isn’t going to be awake or in the right place at 10:30 or 11 p.m. their time,” a former Trump NSC official told Politico.
“When he wants to call someone, he wants to call someone. He’s more impulsive that way. He doesn’t think about what time it is or who it is,” someone close to Trump added.
In these instances, Trump’s NSC staffers would tell him something like “the time is messed up, it’s 1 o’clock in the morning,” to help the president understand that he couldn’t make the call.
“The President has developed strong relationships and good rapports that are not only friendly, but also allow for candid conversations with many of America’s closest allies,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders explained to Politico. “He has even worked the phone with our competitors, injecting stability into bilateral relationships that are undergoing contentious, but necessary readjustments to place American interests first. Foreign leaders appreciate that the President is willing to take their calls day and night.”
“The President has made clear that when leaders reach out for calls, [aides should] set them up right away,” she continued. “He has had foreign leaders calls very late at night and never wants another leader to wait before their call is returned.”
[image via Getty]
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