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:
Trump gives a shout out to Pavarotti, calls him "a good friend of mine".
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 20, 2017
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report