Fact checking: Donald Trump may not have called wife Melania 'Mercedes' in CPAC speech

Donald Trump's recent speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference is making the headlines.

Trump seems to get wife Melania’s name wrong
© Jacob Kupferman / GETTYIMAGES
Trump seems to get wife Melania’s name wrong

Donald Trump is currently in the race for the 2024 presidential election in the United States. Having held the position before, he is typically confident that he is the best candidate, and frequently slams 81-year-old President Joe Biden for his faulty speech and memory.

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Biden does, as well as having a stutter, have a propensity to make mistakes and get muddled up during his talks. Yet, it has been Trump who, of late, has faced speculation over his mental well-being.

Donald Trump’s rival Nikki Hayley, who is one of the youngest candidates at the age of 52, recently said: ‘When you're dealing with the pressures of the presidency, we can't have someone else that we question whether they're mentally fit to do this’.

She was referring to a time when Trump seemed to get her muddled up with Democrat Nancy Pelosi.

This time around, Trump has been accused of making a similar mistake with his own wife Melania. However, Newsweek has since fact checked this story, and this may not be the case.

Trump calls Melania ‘Mercedes’?

Donald Trump gave a recent speech in Washington where he appeared to call his wife of 19 years the wrong name. Trump, speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference seemed to praise his wife, saying: ‘Oh look at that Mercedes, that's pretty good’. The crowd clapped, but many were left confused as they realised his apparent mistake. Several media outlets were quick to put his 'blunder' on the spotlight - sparking reactions from netizens and experts the same.

Dr John Gartner, a former professor at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, has suggested that Trump’s behaviour should be creating more of a shockwave:

Not enough people are sounding the alarm, that based on his behaviour, and in my opinion, Donald Trump is dangerously demented.

However, Newsweek has looked into the story, and there may be a misunderstanding. Political commentator Keith Olbermann stated 'he did NOT call his wife 'Mercedes' at CPAC':

Trump spews out astonishing evidence of his dementia, brain trauma, and possible substance abuse on an hourly basis. There is NO reason to add to this list easily disproven nonsense.
He's unmistakably referring to Mercedes Schlapp.

Schlapp is a communications specialist working for Trump.

Trump continued his speech, going on to take a crack at Biden:

If crooked Joe Biden and his thugs win in 2024 the worst is yet to come. Our country will sink to levels that are unimaginable.

Trump says he’d rather see Biden as President

However, at the very same conference, Trump made yet another unusual blunder. Although presumably not on purpose, he made reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent assertion. Putin said that ‘Biden, he's more experienced, more predictable, he's a politician of the old formation’.

Bizarrely, Trump said he shared this viewpoint:

He did announce the other day that he'd much rather see Biden as president, and I agree with him.

Considering he went on to criticise Biden, calling him ‘crooked Joe’, it seems safe to assume that this was a mistake. However, the stakes of this race are high: it was a big one.

These recent slips - even though one has now been disproven - will only add fuel to the fire over the speculation around Trump’s allegedly weakening mental capacities.

This comes after a slew of legal challenges saw Trump and his two sons banned from doing business in New York. This has left the public questioning who could take over as the head of the Trump Organization.

Read more:

Trump: New book claims Melania and Ivanka had disputes over First Lady duties

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Sources used:

Mirror: Donald Trump says he'd rather see Joe Biden as president in huge blunder at CPAC

Daily Star: Donald Trump calls wife Melania 'Mercedes' as expert warns his brain is 'dementing'

Newsweek: Trump Mocked for Calling Melania 'Mercedes,' but There's One Major Issue

Donald Trump posts Valentine’s message to wife Melania Donald Trump posts Valentine’s message to wife Melania