President Trump is known to make the odd comment here and there about foreign nations, often because he doesn’t seem particularly versed in what’s happening in them. But even by his standards, this was quite a weekend.
Trump was asked Sunday about the trip to Poland he canceled to monitor Hurricane Dorian. Asked if he had a message for that country, which was commemorating the anniversary of the start of World War II, Trump decided to … congratulate it?
Q: Mr. President, do you have a message for Poland on the 80th anniversary of the Second World War?
TRUMP: I do have a great message for Poland. And we have Mike Pence, our Vice President, is just about landing right now. And he is representing me. I look forward to being there soon.
But I just want to congratulate Poland. It’s a great country with great people. We also have many Polish people in our country; it could be 8 million. We love our Polish friends. And I will be there soon.
For those not versed in World War II history, Sunday was the anniversary of the day Nazi Germany invaded Poland, which led France and Great Britain to declare war two days later (i.e. 80 years ago Tuesday). Poland would wind up losing nearly one-fifth of its population in the war, according to estimates.
As such, it was more of a day for somber remembrance than a day of triumph. The German president asked for Poland’s forgiveness, for instance. And Trump’s comment struck a significantly different tone than the man sent to Poland in his stead, Vice President Pence.