06:53 GMT +320 October 2019
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    U.S. President Donald Trump attends a meeting of the North Atlantic Council during a summit of heads of state and government at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, July 11, 2018.

    Trump Reportedly Mispronounces Nepal as 'Nipple,' Bhutan as 'Button' at Briefing

    © AP Photo / Geert Vanden Wijngaert
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    Although the American president is not new to political gaffes in the media and on social networks, some regard his faux pas not as a frustrating sign, but a prerequisite for an open relationship with other countries.

    According to a report by Politico, during a 2017 internal briefing ahead of a meeting with the Indian prime minister, US President Trump mispronounced the name of the country “Nepal” as “nipple” and laughingly referred to Bhutan as “button.” In response, a White House representative told the magazine that people who attended the meeting “don’t remember” the president’s “nipple” remark.

    The report goes on to sum up Trump’s other  “diplomatic faux pas” during his first year as president, including when he reportedly had an urge to call Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the afternoon, Washington time, which is essentially late evening hours in Tokyo, prompting presidential aides to explain to him the idea of time zones.

    "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," Politico quoted a former Trump NSC staffer as saying.

    Another person reportedly close to Trump explained his sudden inclinations by his natural impulsivity and tendency to act on a whim.  While some view inappropriate remarks violating protocol as “disrespect,” which is potentially damaging for America’s image abroad, others agree that all presidents learn on the job and Trump’s at times ignorance of regulations, conversely, allow for candid talks with his counterparts.

    “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 Huckabee Sanders told 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."

    Previously, he was reported to have made a number of ignorant slip-ups during official addresses. For instance, while meeting with a group of African countries at the United Nations General Assembly last September, Trump, in public remarks, referred to the country of Namibia as “Nambia.”

     Separately, speaking to an audience in the Oval Office in January, he infamously referred to a range of African nations as well as El Salvador and Haiti as “shithole countries,” fueling a fierce debate and a severe backlash worldwide.

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    Tags:
    briefing, speech, address, language, backlash, debate, presidency, diplomacy, faux pas, Donald Trump, Bhutan, Nepal, United States
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