- President Donald Trump on Tuesday incorrectly said his father was born in Germany.
- Fred Trump, the president’s deceased father, was actually born in New York City.
- Trump made these comments while meeting with NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday said his father, Fred Trump, was born in "a very wonderful place in Germany."
But there’s just one thing — Fred Trump was actually born in New York City in the United States of America.
"My father is German, was German. Born in a very wonderful place in Germany," Trump said of his father while meeting with NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg.
This was apparently not the first time Trump has incorrectly said his father is from Germany.
In a July 2018 interview, Trump said, "My parents were born in the European Union. I love these countries; Germany, Scotland, they are still in there right?"
It’s true that Trump’s mother, Mary MacLeod, was born in Scotland. It’s also true that Trump’s grandfather, Friedrich Trump, was born in Germany in the village of Kallstadt.
Trump’s grandfather was at one point deported from Germany when he returned to his native country after spending time in the US for avoiding mandatory military service as a teenager.
The president was hosting Stoltenberg at the White House on Tuesday ahead of the NATO chief’s speech to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday.
Trump has faced criticism on his rhetoric toward NATO, as he’s often mischaracterized how the historic alliance functions — particularly in terms of how it’s financed. The president has contended other NATO members have not paid their fair share in terms of defense spending, and has sparked fears he might pull the US out of the alliance.
Read more: Here’s how NATO’s budget actually works
But earlier this year, Stoltenberg credited Trump with an increase in defense spending from other member states. The NATO secretary general essentially said Trump’s tough approach with other NATO members had led to positive changes.
"We agreed to do more to step up — and now we see the results. By the end of next year, NATO allies will add $100 billion extra toward defense," he said in January. "So we see some real money and some real results. And we see that the clear message from President Donald Trump is having an impact."
Stoltenberg continued to de-emphasize the tensions with Trump as he left Brussels on Monday. "The strength of NATO is that, despite these differences, we have always been able to unite around our core tasks," he told reporters. "That is, to protect and defend each other.”
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