Pres. Donald Trump hosted Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny at an event marking St. Patrick’s Day on Thursday. He managed to get subtly told off by Kenny AND make a complete ass out of himself within the same meeting, so that’s a win for the Donald, I guess.
Using St. Patrick as a starting point, Kenny bashed Trump’s views pretty much to his face.
Unwavering, Kenny delivered the following moving statement:
It’s fitting that we gather here each year to celebrate St. Patrick and his legacy. He too of course was an immigrant. And though he is, of course, the patron saint of Ireland, for many people around the globe he’s also a symbol of — indeed the patron of — immigrants.
Here in America, in your great country, 35 million people claim Irish heritage, and the Irish have contributed to the economic, social, political, and cultural life of this great country over the last 200 years. Ireland came to America because, deprived of liberty, deprived of opportunity, of safety, of even food itself, the Irish believed.
And four decades before Lady Liberty lifted her lamp, we were the wretched refuse on the teeming shore. We believed in the shelter of America, in the compassion of America, in the opportunity of America. We came and we became Americans. We lived the words of John F. Kennedy long before he uttered them: We asked not what America can do for us, but what we could do for America. And we still do.
Trump in turn read out a statement that included “his favorite Irish proverb.” That was of course a sloppy lie.
Trump reads one of his favorite Irish proverbs pic.twitter.com/KgE5ipvepw
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) March 16, 2017
“As we stand together with our Irish friends, I’m reminded of an Irish proverb — and this is a good one, this is one I like. I’ve heard it for many, many years and I love it,” Trump said. “Always remember to forget the friends that proved untrue, but never forget to remember those that have stuck by you.”
Trouble is, that “Irish proverb” was actually a line from a poem written by a Nigerian Muslim called Albasheer Adam Alhassan, who now works for in banking. It took random people on Twitter embarrassingly little time to identify the poem
CNN spoke to Alhassan, and he confirmed that he had written the poem back when he was in college. “Maybe I shouldn’t have been a banker, maybe I should have been a poet all my life!” Alhassan said to CNN.