A day after the enormous fire that broke out at Paris’s historic Notre Dame Cathedral, President Donald Trump, speaking at a Tax Day roundtable in Minnesota, seemed to go off script a bit when describing the fire and the cathedral itself.
It started innocently enough:
I will tell you the fire they’re having at the Notre Dame cathedral is something like few people have witnessed. When we left, we had a whole group of your great representatives, and when we left [Air Force One] it was burning at a level that you rarely see a fire burn.
But then it got a little weird:
It is one of the great treasures of the world, the greatest arts in the world. If you think about it, it might be greater than almost any museum in the world and it is burning very badly.
President Trump discusses Notre Dame before holding tax & economy roundtable in Minneapolis: "It might be greater than almost any museum in the world & it's burning very badly, looks like it's burning to the ground. So that puts a damper on what we're about to say, to be honest." pic.twitter.com/bTqIJBdQAX
— The Hill (@thehill) April 15, 2019
People wondered, does he even know what Notre Dame is? Was he confusing it with the Louvre?
He totally thinks it’s the Louvre. https://t.co/dhNmrg5xtS
— Michael Ⓜ️ (@michaelschweitz) April 15, 2019
Reads tomorrow's WaPo headline: "Trump Thinks Notre Dame Is A Museum; God, What An Imbecile." https://t.co/97zgXdNBUa
— Eric Cline, Future Corpse (@SeeTrain65) April 16, 2019
— Kristian Harstad (@KristianHarstad) April 16, 2019
Re: Trump’s “It might be greater than almost any museum in the world” comment – he’s confusing Notre Dame and the Louvre, isn’t he?
— Al Kennedy (@housetoastonish) April 16, 2019
Trump thinks Notre Dame is a museum. I'm actually surprised he didn't say university… https://t.co/PuCccrk4Qu
— Impeach Indict Imprison ✏️ 🇺🇸🏳️🌈 (@mizmaxgordon) April 16, 2019
The president’s off-the-cuff comments came just a day after he courted controversy by suggesting that firefighters should employ “flying water tankers” to quench the fire.
So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 15, 2019
The French Civil Security agency, which is part of the French Ministry of Interior responded soon after, pointing out that dropping water from the air onto the building could cause the entire structure to collapse.