During the APEC summit in Vietnam earlier this month, Donald Trump was reportedly confused “for a good amount of time” about who exactly Jacinda Ardern, the New Zealand prime minister, was. Indeed, it’s unusual to see a woman—and one under 40, at that—at the helm of a country. One can only imagine that, in Trump’s mind, it made more sense that Ardern was Justin Trudeau’s wife. After all, they speak the same language (Trump could easily have mistaken Ardern’s Kiwi phonemics for a thick Quebecois accent), and are roughly the same age. Never mind that Trump has met Sophie Grégoire, Trudeau’s actual wife, who bears little resemblance to Ardern.
This isn’t the first time Trump has blundered women’s identities. In a press conference in Finland last August he tried to curb a question from a female reporter he thought was monopolizing his time. “Again?” Trump protested when the reporter started her questioning, thinking he had just addressed her when in fact the earlier questions had come from a different woman. “We have a lot of blonde women in Finland,” one of the reporters noted.
WATCH: Trump confuses two female reporters from Finland
Back in January Trump accidentally tweeted his praises for a woman named Ivanka Majic, a council worker and Labour Party member in England, thinking it was his daughter. And then, in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in Florida, Trump mistook the whereabouts of his own wife, telling reporters “Melania really wanted to be with us” as she stood by his side.
Jacinda Ardern claims that Trump’s mistake over her identity was simply an observation made by a friend of her’s. But given his track record, it’s not a stretch to believe the mix up occurred. In case there’s still any confusion over whether Ardern and Grégoire are the same person, please see above.
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