Yesterday, there was a comment on twitter on something stupid President Trump allegedly said about Russia and Finland. James Oliphant, a White House correspondent for Reuters, posted the following.
Trump said Russia and Finland have gotten along for “a hundred years.” The USSR invaded Finland in 1939.
The tweet has been retweeted 8,185 times and liked 16,535 as of the writing of this blog post.
My family’s rather sensitive to stupid things that President Trump has said about Russia, because of the stakes involving Estonia, where my mother as well as my father’s parents are from. We were pissed off at Trump for saying something so historically illiterate.
However, the transcript suggests he was making a different point. This came just after he mixed up two female Finnish reporters.
Q Mr. President Trump, what kind of role do you see as Finland having in the U.S.-Russia relations? Do you think Finland could be of assistance, helping U.S. get better relations with Russia?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I hope that we do have good relations with Russia. I say it loud and clear, I’ve been saying it for years: I think it’s a good thing if we have great relationships, or at least good relationships with Russia. That’s very important, and I believe someday that will happen. It’s a big country, it’s a nuclear country, it’s a country that we should get along with, and I think we will eventually get along with Russia.
Finland is respected by Russia. Finland has been free of Russia, really — just about one of the few countries in the region that has been — for 100 years. And Russia has a lot of respect for Finland, so that’s always good. But I think Finland is doing fine with Russia, and I hope that the United States will someday be able to have a very good relationship with Russia also. I think that’s very good for world peace and for other things.
Obviously, saying that Finland is free of Russia for 100 years, is different from saying they’ve gotten along for 100 years. This criticism of Trump is based on something a reporter heard incorrectly. So far, it hasn’t been corrected.