NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (L) and President Donald Trump talk to reporters in the Oval Office at the White House April 2, 2019 in Washington, DC.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (L) and President Donald Trump talk to reporters in the Oval Office at the White House April 2, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Photo: Chip Somodevilla (Getty Images)

When I was younger, I used to tell girls that I was mixed race. It made me sound more exotic and made me seem more interesting. I wasn’t ashamed of being black, I just thought it was funny to see how easily people would believe me when I said that my father was black but my mother was Dominican.

I was also 12.

The president of the United States is playing the same joke on us. Maybe he’s trying to endear himself to his white supremacist base. Maybe he suffers from some kind of mental illness that only allows him to lie, but either way, the president of the United States continues to push this lie that his father was born in Germany when his father was really born in New York.


“My father is German—was German,” Trump said Tuesday, The Washington Post reports. “Born in a very wonderful place in Germany, so I have a great feeling for Germany.”

And this is the third time that he’s kicked this story of his father, Frederick Christ Trump, (I know that I play around a lot with names but this man’s real middle name is “Christ.” I wish I were joking), being born in a manger in Germany.

As The Washington Post’s Philip Bump detailed shortly after Trump’s election:

Donald Trump’s grandfather, Friedrich Trump, emigrated from Germany to the United States in 1885. He landed in New York City but eventually made his way west, settling in Seattle. In November 1891, he bought a restaurant at 208 Washington Street in the city for $600. (This history is from Gwenda Blair’s “The Trumps,” a history of the family.) It was in Seattle that Friedrich became a citizen — on Oct. 27, 1892, just in time to register to vote in the 1892 presidential election, the first for which Washington was eligible to cast its ballots. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer listed Trump as a registered voter shortly before the November election.


Friedrich Trump was expelled from Germany in 1905, for emigrating illegally. His wife, Trump’s grandmother, Elisabeth Trump, returned to the United States when she was pregnant with Fred Trump, The Post reports. So Trump’s father was born here in the United States. Right here in good ole America. Right here in the land that he governs. So why does Trump keep pushing this lie about his father being born in Germany?


Haven’t you been paying attention? Liars lie because they can. He’s also 12.

The Post offers a better explanation:

Trump was perhaps using the claim to express solidarity with the man he was sitting next to Tuesday at the White House, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. The previous two times Trump made this bizarre claim were also while talking about U.S.-European relations.

In July, Trump named the European Union as one of the United States’ biggest foes. “Maybe the thing that is most difficult — don’t forget both my parents were born in E.U. sectors, okay?” he said. “I mean, my mother was Scotland, my father was Germany. And — you know I love those countries.”

Trump’s mom was, in fact, a Scottish immigrant.

And just days before, he made the same claim at a NATO summit in Brussels. “I have great respect for Germany; my father is from Germany,” Trump said. “Both of my parents are from the E.U., despite the fact they don’t treat us well on trade.”


Maybe as the Post suggested, there could be a push to find Fred Trump’s birth certificate, or maybe the president could just stop fucking lying. Both would be nice, but I’m not holding my breath for either, as the president has proven that he could literally say anything (which he does) and nothing will happen.

It would be easy to make the same jokes I made last time about how we really need to get to the heart of this and find Fred Trump’s birth certificate, but I’m not going to do that. Let’s just say Trump’s grasp of a key immigration issue seems to be lacking in this case.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.

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