The names of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin often appear together in the news, including in multiple stories just this week. One newspaper this week brought the presidents of the United States and Russia even closer together.
In a mistake that might more accurately be described as a Freudian slip, the Wall Street Journal on Thursday accidentally referred to Russian President Vladimir Putin as “Vladimir Trump.” The correction issued by the paper later that day- “Vladimir Putin is president of Russia, an editing mistake erroneously identified him as Vladimir Trump in an earlier version of this article”- quickly went viral.
And then, as pointed out by CNN‘s Andrew Kaczynski, the Journal changed the correction to merely state that “Vladimir Putin is president of Russia. An editing mistake misidentified Mr. Putin in an earlier version of this article.”
The original error came in a Journal story, by reporter Peter Nicholas, about President Trump’s decision to cancel his planned meeting with Putin at this week’s G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in retaliation for Russia’s recent naval clashes with its neighbor Ukraine. The Kremlin, however, is maintaining that the meeting between the two will still take place.
Trump and Putin’s names are in the news together this week for another reason. When Trump’s longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen pled guilty Thursday to charges brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Cohen revealed that he had lied in previous testimony about the Trump Organization’s proposed plans for a Trump Tower in Moscow, which continued much later in the 2016 presidential campaign than was previously stated. A Buzzfeed report, also Thursday, had stated that the Trump Organization had proposed giving Putin the $50 million penthouse in Moscow tower, under the theory that wealthy Russian oligarchs would want to live close to the president of their country.
Trump had stated multiple times that he had “nothing to do with Russia,” while denouncing the Mueller probe as a “witch hunt.”
The Journal‘s correction for the “Vladimir Trump” error was described by more than one Twitter user as the best newspaper correction of the year.
— Tom Gara (@tomgara) November 29, 2018
Whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia or was otherwise aware of the established Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election is the main reason for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, which has to date produced numerous indictments, guilty pleas, and convictions. These include several individuals – Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos, Rick Gates, Michael Flynn, and now Cohen- with ties to the president.