Publications shared on tens of thousands of occasions in social networks since last October 17 affirm that the American president, Donald Trump, called his Italian peer, Sergio Mattarella, “Mozzarella”, and also that Trump commented that the two countries were “allies from ancient Rome, ”during a press conference at the White House. However, he said neither one thing nor another.
“Many of you will not have heard that Trump met yesterday with Italian President Sergio Mattarella, he called Mozzarella a couple of times because he does not know how to speak and commented on the good relationship between Italy and the US that goes back to Ancient Rome,” says one of the most viral tweets in Spanish, with more than 3,300 retweets. Another, shared more than 1,600 times, attaches two photographs of the Italian translator with the legend: “Looking at the Italian translator of the White House when Trump meets with President Mattarella, he is called President Mozzarella and says that Italy and the US are allies from Ancient Rome. "
Screenshot of a post on Twitter, made on October 23, 2019RELATED
The statement and images have been widely shared on Facebook (1, 2, 3) and in other languages, such as English (1, 2, 3), French or Polish. Many of the publications cite the Twitter user Danny Keetz, which has accumulated more than 150,000 interactions since October 17.
Screenshot of a tweet with two images of the translator, made on October 23, 2019
Several publications with Trump's alleged claims include two photographs of the translator behind the US president, frowning and concentrating, during a press conference that Trump and Mattarella gave on October 16 at the White House.
The president of Italy
The US president does not call his Italian peer “Mozzarella”, which AFP verified by reviewing the press conference, available entirely on YouTube.
Since the video begins, Trump introduces Mattarella simply as the "president of Italy." "It is a great honor to have the president of Italy with us," he says in his first speech.
The French check-checking page Checknews indicates the exact moments when the translator's viral photographs were taken, whose gestures are attributed to Trump's alleged erroneous claims.
The first image used in the publications can be seen within 24 and 5 seconds of the video inserted under this paragraph, which is a redcast of the press conference of the US network Fox News. At this moment, the translator listens to a journalist's question. The second capture is the gesture that can be seen at minute 5 and 43 seconds, when Trump is talking about Russia and the Islamic State group.
“Common cultural heritage”
At the press conference, Trump did not say either that the United States and Italy were "allies" or had "good relations" since "Ancient Rome."
The official broadcast of the president's words on the White House website does not show those phrases. Trump explained that the United States has "a good relationship with Italy for a long time." Yes there is a reference to Ancient Rome in Trump's statements at another press conference, also with Mattarella, on October 16 and available on YouTube here. However, those words were misunderstood or misunderstood by Internet users.
President @realDonaldTrump just wrapped up a joint press conference with President Mattarella of Italy.
“The United States and Italy are bound together by a shared cultural and political heritage dating back thousands of years to Ancient Rome." 🇺🇸🇮🇹 pic.twitter.com/10Ib2h4O4e
– The White House (@WhiteHouse) October 16, 2019
The US president then declared: "The United States and Italy are united by a common cultural and political heritage that goes back thousands of years, to Ancient Rome." "Over the centuries, the Italians have blessed our civilization with magnificent works of art, science, philosophy, architecture," he continued, to explain his previous statement.
Therefore, President Trump did not call his Italian pair, Sergio Mattarella, "Mozzarella", nor did he say that the United States and Italy were allies since "ancient Rome."