Donald Trump gave a speech annual New York City Veterans Day parade on Monday which was met with loud protests and angry exchanges between the president’s supporters and opponents, as The Independent reported. But it was the mispronunciation and slurring of words during the president’s outdoor address in a heavily-guarded Madison Square Park that sparked conversation.
Trump appeared to run into trouble pronouncing otherwise routine words as he read the text from a teleprompter. A series of videos from a C-Span broadcast of the speech posted on Twitter revealed the president encountering difficulty pronouncing the word “legendary.”
In the videos, Trump appears to back away from the podium in the middle of a story about the bravery of an American soldier in World War II, and simply says the word, “something,” as if he had forgotten or was unable to read the words he was supposed to say at that moment.
Trump was relating a World War II anecdote about an American sergeant who refused to identify Jewish troops when ordered to do so by a German commander whose forces had captured the Americans.
“Major, you can shoot me, but you’ll have to kill us all,” the sergeant told the German, according to Trump’s anecdote.
However, at that point, the president paused and stepped back, uttering the single word “something,” as seen in the video below.
The official White House transcript of the speech corrected Trump’s phrasing, quoting the president as saying, “That’s something,” as a comment on the sergeant’s courage.
Even if the White House transcript is indeed what Trump was supposed to say, his halting delivery led Twitter users to label Trump’s Veterans Day address the “Something Speech,” and to circulate a corresponding hashtag.
In another moment posted from the C-Span broadcast by Vox.com reporter Aaron Rupar, Trump seemingly has trouble pronouncing the name of one of World War II’s most famous battles, the “Battle of the Bulge.”
The video posted by Rupar below captures Trump’s troubles with the word “legendary.”
Trump has some trouble reading "legendary" pic.twitter.com/GSuibv1uXn— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 11, 2019
Trump’s awkwardness with the teleprompter text on Veterans Day could be looked upon as insignificant if it did not appear to be the latest in a series of such missteps during his public speeches. In August, another video went viral after it compiled a series of slurred and mispronounced words in two of the speeches given by the president on a single day.
His difficulty pronouncing words in his speeches had led psychologist John Gartner to speculate that Trump is undergoing some form of decline in his cognitive facilities, possibly the result of mild, but worsening dementia.
“If Donald Trump were your father, you would run, not walk, to a neurologist for an evaluation of his cognitive health,” Gartner — who spent 28 years as a psychology professor at Johns Hopkins University — wrote in a USA Today op-ed column at the time.