New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday regretted telling friends how United States President Donald Trump might have mistaken her for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife at an event last week.
“It was a bit of a funny yarn, something I don’t want to cause a diplomatic incident over...I think I should never have recounted the story,” Ardern told television channel TVNZ.
The gaffe first came to the fore when comedian Tom Sainsbury said on radio that Ardern had told him how Trump was “confused for a good amount of time” about her identity.
The newly-elected prime minister, however, got visibly uncomfortable when TVNZ host Jack Tame grilled her about this on air for over six minutes. She said “someone else” thought Trump had mistaken her identity at the summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in Vietnam. However, Ardern said Trump “didn’t seem to confuse me” when she talked to him.
“Someone else believed they had observed some confusion,” Ardern said, without sharing who it was.
Ardern was elected prime minister last month. At 37, she is the country’s second-youngest prime minister and the third woman to hold the post after Jenny Shipley and Helen Clark.