Last weekend, as Donald Trump was busy making an ass of himself in Paris, there was still plenty of hand-shaking and shoulder-rubbing going on among the world leaders in attendance for the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, despite the somber nature of the event. In fact, Trump even found time to speak to some of the handful of foreign dignitaries he hasn’t alienated with his boorish behavior, including the President of Finland, Sauli Niinistö.
The Finnish leader made his way back into the news this weekend, however, despite being nowhere near Trump.
As the President finally made an appearance in California on Saturday, after the state has already been ravaged by the worst fires in their history, he was still doubling and even tripling down on his insistence that the disaster could have been averted if forest management officials had only made simple adjustments — this time claiming that “raking” the forest floors of leaves, bushes, and small trees would have prevented the fires.
It was such a silly claim, however, that Trump found himself in a situation he often creates through his own ill-advised statements: He lied again about something he didn’t even need to lie about. Whether or not that makes him a sociopath we’ll have to leave up to psychoanalysts, but it does often lead to some of the most ridiculous things that come out of his mouth.
As Trump stood next to California Governor Jerry Brown and the incoming Governor Gavin Newsom in the fire-devastated community of Paradise, he told reporters that President Niinistö had confirmed his bizarre theory about “raking” the forest floors:
I was with the president of Finland, and he said, ‘We have a much different — we’re a forest nation.’ He called it a forest nation. And they spent a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things, and they don’t have any problem. And when it is, it’s a very small problem.”
Of course, it’s ridiculous to believe even for a moment that the Finnish President said any such thing — and Finns on social media had a blast mocking Trump with posts like this:
Just an ordinary day in the Finnish forest ~ Ihan normipäivä suomalaisessa metsässä #Trump #forest #firesafety #raking #forestry #Finland #Finnish #CaliforniaFire #RakingAmericaGreatAgain #rakingtheforest #Suomi #haravointi #metsäpalot #rakingleaves pic.twitter.com/YOKA3D6C2K
— Pyry Luminen (@pyryluminen) November 18, 2018
But on Sunday, Niinistö himself put a stop to the nonsense, confirming what most Americans already knew: Trump is a liar. He told his country’s second-largest paper, Ilta-Sanomat, that he never discussed “raking” the forest floors:
I mentioned [to] him that Finland is a land covered by forests and we also have a good monitoring system and network. We take care of our forests.”
Finland also gets a lot of rain and snow, due to its relative nearness to the North Pole, something Trump should likely consider the next time he thinks the rest of the world hasn’t looked at a map lately before he lies about something so stupid.
Featured image via screen capture