Donald Trump doesn’t know that his “great friend” Pavarotti died ten years ago

Is Donald Trump purposely misrepresenting his personal relationship with opera singer Luciano Pavarotti, or is this just the latest evidence of Trump’s slide into mental incompetence? During a speech today, Trump referred to his “great friend” Pavarotti in a way that made clear he was referring to him in the present tense – despite the fact that Pavarotti died in 2007.

Trump made the remark today during his joint press conference with the Italian Prime Minister. Trump tried to draw ties between himself and Italy by referring to the late Pavarotti as “a friend of mine, a great friend of mine.” From the context it’s clear Trump thinks Pavarotti is still alive. So he was either pretending to be friends with the singer, or he’s honestly forgotten that a friend of his died ten years ago. From his recent antics, either scenario is equally believable.

For instance during Black History Month in February, Donald Trump referred to 19th century civil rights pioneer Frederick Douglass in the present tense, making clear he had no idea who Douglas was. But more recently Trump has been forgetting basic facts about even the people he focuses closely on.

Over the weekend Donald Trump gave an interview to Fox News which revealed that he believes current North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un and his late father Kim Jong-Il are the same person. Then he began repeatedly referring to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan as “Ron.” He didn’t appear to know what to do during the National Anthem at the White House Easter Egg Roll until Melania reminded him. He also forgot that the hat he was autographing had just been handed to him by a kid, and flung it into the crowd instead (we’ve previously documented all of it here). And last week he announced that he had bombed the wrong country.

So is Trump lying about being friends with Pavarotti, or has he deteriorated to the point that he no longer remembers his friend Pavarotti died a decade ago? Watch the video clip from MSNBC and decide for yourself:


All of Palmer Report's content is made available to you for free, with no subscription fees or paywalls. If you're a regular reader, feel free to contribute:

Bill Palmer is the founder and editor in chief of the political news outlet Palmer Report

Keep up to date with the latest Palmer Report articles via email.
Get the latest content first.
We respect your privacy.


  1. cle on April 20, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    Just goes to show…. and I mean, a real “Show”, with international consequences!

  2. Kris Macdonald on April 20, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    Regarding Trump’s apparent slipping mental status. Do you think it’s possible that he is ‘pretending’ and will make a deal in order to provide a somewhat graceful exit to his presidency?

    • Michael Seiler on April 21, 2017 at 12:09 pm

      I cannot imagine the words “graceful” and “Trump” co-existing together.

  3. Claudia Groh on April 20, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    The Donald does not speak well,and living in​ the past. He doesn’t do well with changes, and with changes come more stress. He isn’t stable this is certainly clear,
    But until someone in Republican party start putting this half a bubble off POTUS
    We are stuck.
    I really think the nomination of any president elect needs a complete evaluation phycial and mental and release all information to medical team.
    Along with several years of taxes not just three.
    Total transparency.

  4. Feona on April 20, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    Just more evidence of Trump preparing for his Trump/Russia defense. He knows the evidence is mounting up and will most likely use “I don’t remember” for his #1 answer. Along with Trumps general stupidity I believe this is what’s happening with Trumps “memory” issue.

  5. Mike S. on April 20, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    Trump has a tendency to repeat his sentences and adds the word “very”. For example, something like:

    “We gotta deport all the bad hombres, very bad hombres, gotta get rid of them”

  6. Betty Seed Woellner on April 20, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    Anytime. Trump starts a story about “my friend” He’s fibbing

  7. yoursotruly on April 20, 2017 at 7:51 pm

    I think he mentioned something about having cheeseburgers with Elvis, too, or was it, Evel Knievel? Yes, he’s overwhelmed and trying to push off all decisions on the generals and Jared, I think he’s almost frozen in fear of making the wrong decisions which is pretty much guaranteed. Trump has the same job he had on The Apprentice, he fires people.

    He can’t hire the people he wants or even keep them, like the Apprentice, they are incompetent, he’s forced to accept the “deep state” professionals and is trapped. Will he go out with a bang?

    Remember, he intended to lose, so did Putin, he would cripple Hillary, get her impeached, get his paycheck and who knows what…little Donny only thinks two steps ahead and had no plan for winning, Putin has a plan, get this oil deal and dump Trump. Great articles! I read you every day.

  8. Toby on April 20, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    Maybe donald is taking a page out of the mafia playbook: pretending he is going senile so he can claim he is incapable of standing trial for his money laundering and election treason.

    • Kris Macdonald on April 21, 2017 at 1:21 pm

      Toby, I wondered the same thing. Knowing the end is coming soon, he’s escalated his ‘dementia’.

  9. BobNYC on April 21, 2017 at 12:11 am

    He also says “vurrrdi” – It’s “Veyrrdi” He’s a phony. Complete fake.
    When he claims Pavarotti is (or was) a friend of his, he’s lying. He most likely just met him once.

    • vcragain on April 21, 2017 at 8:06 am

      Well at least he didn’t claim MichaelAngelo was his friend ! The idea that he is getting ready to get out or have a good excuse for why he should not be sent to jail might be the most clear idea yet – I am in shock every day at his antics, and really squirmed watching him with the Italian Pm yesterday – he looks totally foolish, totally lying – he seems to push his lower lip down & display his bottom teeth when he is lying – i have noticed this for a long time – that & the hands with their rigid right-angled jagged moves – he is extremely weird !!!!!

  10. Mark Dickins on April 21, 2017 at 2:05 am

    It was probably the only Italian person he could think of.

  11. Michael McDaniel on April 21, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    I often refer to those whose art, books, personal experience are an important part of who I am, in a presently existing kind of way.

Leave a Comment