Donald Trump, the President of the United States, mixed up the Baltics and the Balkans, accusing the former of starting a war caused by the latter.
Trump confused Baltics with Balkans and accused confused leaders of starting Yugoslav wars https://t.co/JIQe9Laa87 https://t.co/hFtSMKE3p3— Newsweek (@Newsweek)1541984416.0
Let's back up.
French newspaper Le Monde published a series on the difficulty of European nations working with the reality show president. In April of this year, Trump met with representatives of Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia, aka The Baltic States. However, when addressing them, he blamed them for the war in Yugoslavia.
It took a minute for the Baltic leaders to realize he mistook them for the Balkans, the region in southern Europe made up of countries such as Croatia, Serbia, and most importantly, Slovenia, all three of which used to be Yugoslavia.
Slovenia gained its independence in 1991 at the start of the Balkan conflicts, which were hard fought and bloody wars. This is important because First Lady Melania Trump was born in the former Yugoslavian nation.
People weren't happy with the information reported.
Trump needs geography lessons. The alleged "leader of the Free World" can't define the boundaries/countries of the… https://t.co/OTdOlzfawA— Mary Ann L Sorrentino. firstname.lastname@example.org (@Mary Ann L Sorrentino. email@example.com)1542026999.0
@Newsweek Doesn’t #POTUS get briefings from the Department of State? Are there no advisers or documents to read ahe… https://t.co/1xlEXjUySv— dttranslation (@dttranslation)1541985514.0
It's very possible that if you asked a random person on the street about the difference between the Baltics and the Balkans, they wouldn't know. However, what makes this different is he's the president, and he's married to someone from the Balkans.
The jokes just flow.
@Newsweek You could have stopped at confused.— D H (@D H)1541984667.0
@Newsweek But he does know there are 50 states.— Kristin Wells (@Kristin Wells)1541985456.0
This report comes at the end of a trying weekend for the president, who cancelled a planned appearance at a WWI commemoration ceremony, heightening tensions with other European nations. The White House declined The Guardian's requests for comment.