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'Error-Ridden' Trump Tweet Draws Derision

For one thing, he called the defense secretary 'Mark Esperanto'
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2019 2:30 PM CDT

(Newser) – President Trump wrote an "error-ridden" tweet Sunday that inspired reporters to take it apart pretty much word by word, Newsweek reports. Now deleted—after thousands of shares—the tweet referred to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper as "Mark Esperanto" and made claims that raised a few eyebrows: "Mark Esperanto, Secretary of Defense, 'The ceasefire is holding up very nicely. There are some minor skirmishes that have ended quickly. New areas being resettled with the Kurds.' USA soldiers are not in combat or ceasefire zones. We have secured the Oil. Bringing soldiers home!" Among the responses:

  • "So much wrong in this tweet," tweets Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin. "US troops are not coming home, they are going to Iraq. We don't have the oil. And the Defense Secretary's name is not 'Esperanto.'"

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  • "Someone's phone converted Esper into Esperanto," writes Brian Stelter, the chief media correspondent at CNN. "The result is the president misspelling the name of his own defense secretary. Shouldn't these tweets be, you know, proofread?"
  • Bloomberg editor Tim O'Brien notes that Trump has stumbled over names before, like calling Tim Cook "Tim Apple," Mike Pence "Mike Pounce," and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "Betanyahu."
  • "I'm not sure who Trump is referring to, but I'm travelling with Defense Secretary Esper and cant [sic] recall the quote Trump is using," tweets Reuters correspondent Idrees Ali. En route to Afghanistan, Esper "made no mention of new areas being resettled with Kurds or oil."
  • Trump's assertion about the ceasefire was contradicted by an unidentified US official and a spokesman for the Kurdish fighters, per USA Today. The SDF rep said air and artillery attacks are still targeting fighters, civilians, and hospitals in Syria.
  • Trump later posted a slightly altered version of the tweet: "'The ceasefire is holding up very nicely. There are some minor skirmishes that have ended quickly. New areas being resettled with Kurds. US soldiers are not in combat or ceasefire zone. We have secured the Oil.' Mark Esper, Secretary of Defense. Ending endless wars!"
(Read more President Trump stories.)

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