People Are Having A Ball With President Trump’s Weird Statement About The Panama Canal

Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump hosted Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela and his wife, Lorena Castillo de Varela during a photo op at the White House on Monday. Meetings such as this are commonplace, especially in the media-engorged Trump administration, but comments made by the current U.S. president rubbed viewers — and possibly Varela himself — the wrong way. That’s because Trump spent a whopping 39 seconds introducing the Panamanian president and his wife while randomly commenting on the Panama Canal, which America “did a good job building.”

“It’s our great honor to have President and Mrs. Varela from Panama. We have many things to discuss. We’re going to spend quite a bit of time today,” Trump began before inadvertently segueing into his Panama Canal comments. “The Panama Canal is doing quite well, I think we did a good job building it. Right? Very good job.” Varela simply smiled and nodded throughout Trump’s bit, but that didn’t stop Politico and countless other outlets from fact-checking the latter in real time.

Obviously, just because Trump said “we did a good job building [it]” directly to Varela doesn’t mean the president actually thinks he is in any way responsible for constructing a structure overseen by President Theodore Roosevelt and completed in 1914. Yet that didn’t stop journalists, politicos, pundits and the like on Twitter from ridiculing him for his characteristically off-the-wall statement.