United States President Donald Trump hit the wrong note during a joint press conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni on Thursday, when he boasted about being great friends with opera singer Luciano Pavarotti, who happens to have died in 2007. Trump appeared to have been reading from a prepared speech praising Italy’s “artistic and scientific achievement that continues today”, when he suddenly went off script, as he is wont to do.
“From Venice to Florence to Verdi to Pavarotti – friend of mine. Great friend of mine,” he said.
Death notwithstanding, the claim also struck some as especially odd because Pavarotti’s family had in July 21, 2016, asked Trump to stop using Pavarotti’s famous recording of Puccini’s Nessun Dorma during his campaign events saying the singer would not have approved of the Republican. Pavarotti’s family had said, “the values of brotherhood and solidarity which Luciano Pavarotti expressed throughout the course of his artistic career are entirely incompatible with the worldview offered by the candidate Donald Trump.”
Here’s his whole speech: