“And then Helmut Kohl turned to me and said, ‘What would you say, Mr. President, if you picked up the London Times and learned that 1,000 people had broken down the doors of the British parliament, killed some bobbies on the way in, to deny the prime minister to take office,”’ Biden said, as reported by multiple outlets.
But Kohl, who led Germany as chancellor from 1984 to 1989, had died four years earlier and it was Merkel who attended the 2021 G7 event.
This is the second time this week that the U.S. president has mixed up European leaders with dead ones. While telling another story about the G7 summit, Biden earlier this week confused French President Emmanuel Macron with the late François Mitterrand, who led France from 1981 to 1995 and died in 1996.
The 81-year-old U.S. president has made a number of embarrassing slips of the tongue in public. In July 2023, he accidentally said “over 100” Americans had died from Covid-19. The White House later rectified this to “over 1 million.”
In June, he confused the war in Ukraine with that in Iraq, saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin was “losing the war in Iraq.”
Former President Donald Trump, set to be Biden’s main opponent at the upcoming U.S. presidential election, is not immune to gaffes himself.
Last October, Trump confused Hungary and Turkey — calling Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán the leader of Turkey. And less than a week later, he mistakenly said Hungary borders Russia. It doesn’t.
Last month, Trump also confused Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley with former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.