Following a foiled attack on a Paris police station Thursday morning, allegedly by an Islamic militant, real estate mogul and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump sparked controversy by posting a tweet to his verified account that appeared to say Paris was in Germany. The tweet launched an outpouring of ridicule on Twitter, and the phrase "Paris is in Germany" was trending at the time of publication.
"Man shot inside Paris police station. Just announced that terror threat is at highest level. Germany is a total mess--big crime. GET SMART!" read a tweet posted to Trump's verified account at 8:24 a.m. EST Thursday.
Man shot inside Paris police station. Just announced that terror threat is at highest level. Germany is a total mess-big crime. GET SMART!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 7, 2016
Trump's tweet appeared to be in response to an incident that took place around 11:30 a.m. Paris time in which a man armed with a meat cleaver and a fake suicide vest attempted to attack a Paris police station. The unidentified man shouted "Allahu akbar" ("God is great" in Arabic) before being shot dead by police, the Paris prosecutor reported. A piece of paper with a drawing of the flag of the Islamic terror group known as ISIS was found on the assailant's body.
Responses to the tweet ranged from support for Trump to ridiculing statements alleging the presidential candidate needed to brush up on his geography. Several users on social media said Trump was talking about two separate situations, the attack in Paris and the spate of attempted sexual assaults in Cologne, Germany, over the weekend. "I clearly see he was discussing attacks in Paris & Cologne in same tweet, not saying Paris is in Germany," read a tweet from a user who described herself as "not a Trump hater or supporter."
Not a Trump hater or supporter; but I clearly see he was discussing attacks in Paris & Cologne in same tweet, not saying Paris is in Germany
— ๑Jai๑ (@NytFury) January 7, 2016
An overwhelming number of the tweets in response to Trump's comment were ridiculing, however, slamming the candidate for appearing to confuse France with Germany. "I've realised there's no threat @realDonaldTrump will make it to U.K. He thinks Paris is in Germany. #getsmart," read a tweet posted to the verified account of Chris Bryant, a member of British Parliament.
— Chris Bryant MP (@RhonddaBryant) January 7, 2016
Other users said they did not want a president who appeared to confuse two European countries.
Donald Trump wants to be president of the most powerful country in the world and he thinks Paris is in Germany. Give me strength __
— Alice Marie (@negativecreeeep) January 7, 2016
The potential next president of the United States thinks Paris is in Germany. There's hope for all of us https://t.co/BOe2PDlgQO
— James Welham (@WelhamOfficial) January 7, 2016