Trump Reportedly Called Nepal “Nipple” & It Was Quite The Slip Up
It won't be the first time that the president pronounced something wrong. According to an anonymous White House official who spoke with Politico, Donald Trump mispronounced Nepal as "nipple" before he was set to meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2017. The report was published on Monday and pointed to Trump's reportedly incomplete knowledge of South Asian countries. Bustle has reached out to the White House for comment.
During the same briefing in 2017, the White House official said that Trump did not appear well-versed on South Asian countries and borderlines — including where Nepal was. He apparently did not know that the small South Asian country was nestled between China and India.
"He didn’t know what those were. He thought it was all part of India," the anonymous source told Politico. "He was like, 'What is this stuff in between and these other countries?'"
Some have pushed against the report. Another unnamed source close to the briefer meeting told Politico that they did not recall the president mispronouncing Nepal as "nipple" and added that Trump asked "appropriate" questions.
A White House official also told Politico that prior to meeting Modi in 2017, Trump asked if his wife, Jashodaben Chimanlal Modi, would be present at the meeting as well. White House staffers informed Trump that Modi had been estranged from Jashodaben for years. In response, Trump reportedly joked, "Ah, I think I can set him up with somebody."
Trump has also apparently needed lessons in diplomacy such as knowing when it is the right time to call another country's leader. "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," a former Trump official told Politico.
Another official added, "When he wants to call someone, he wants to call someone. He’s more impulsive that way. He doesn’t think about what time it is or who it is."
Such a reported lack of consideration for others' time could have consequences. Wendy Sherman, who worked for the State Department under Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, told Politico, "The underlying premise of protocol is respect for other people. When the president doesn’t follow protocol, it’s a sign of disrespect."
But there are also people in the current White House who have defended Trump's style. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Politico, "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."
"He has even worked the phone with our competitors," Sanders added, "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."
As for reportedly calling Nepal "nipple," Trump called Bhutan — another South Asian country — "button" and laughed. Both instances can be added to the list of countries Trump has commented on — often in mockery.