Leave it to President Donald Trump to always keep us entertained and having something new to talk about, even if it revolves around a holiday.
This past Thursday, at a St. Patrick’s Day luncheon with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, Trump made remarks where he quoted what he purported to be an Irish proverb. The only issue was that it was, in fact, not an Irish proverb, and many people of Irish descent immediately started calling him out on social media for it.
What Trump specifically stated was, “As we stand together with our Irish friends, I’m reminded of that proverb — and this is a good one, this is one I like. I’ve heard it for many, many years and I love it. ‘Always remember to forget the friends that proved untrue. But never forget to remember those that have stuck by you.'”
While he was called out for it, a White House spokesperson defended him to The Hill, stating the following about the proverb: “(It was) originally supplied in an email on March 8 by the State Department via [the National Security Council] as building blocks in advance of this event. These building blocks were supplied in the context of the Shamrock Ceremony and were ultimately used in the prepared remarks for the luncheon.”
Interestingly, when people started researching the “proverb,” they stumbled upon a poem that had the same lines verbatim by Albasheer Adam Alhassan, a Nigerian poet who happens to be Muslim.
Social media users also noted that, when googling “famous Irish proverb,” the phrase did pop up, put on a picture with a shamrock.
Perhaps whoever passed the “proverb” onto Trump should have done a quick double check to ensure it actually was an Irish proverb. Trump’s administration is always so quick to call out “fake news” one would think they’d be hyper-aware of “fake things on the internet.”