On Tuesday, while speaking to reporters in the White House, President Donald Trump raised eyebrows for incorrectly claiming that his late father was born in Germany.

Trump made the claim while venting to Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel about his frustrations about the country’s financial contributions to NATO. 

“Germany, honestly, is not paying their fair share,” he said at the White House event with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, quickly adding that he has “great respect” for Merkel and ”great respect for the country.” 


“My father is German, was German,” Trump continued. “And born in a very wonderful place in Germany, so I have a great feeling for Germany.” 

This is the third time in recent years that Trump has said that his father was born in Germany, when in fact his father Frederick Christ Trump, was born in New York in the Bronx on Oct. 11, 1905. 

Trump’s grandfather Friedrich Trump was born in the German village town of Kallstadt and emigrated to the U.S. in 1885 to escape poverty. And although he landed in New York City, he settled in Seattle, Washington and bought a restaurant in November 1891 and became a citizen in October of the following year. 

Years later, he returned to Germany and fell in love with Elisabeth Christ and the two married and returned to the U.S. But in 1905 he attempted to return to Germany to resettle, but was ejected and was ordered not to return after it became apparent that he had failed to perform mandatory military service. So, the couple returned to the U.S. on a ship bound to Pennsylvania and at the time Christ was three months pregnant with Frederich, who was later born in New York City. 

The last time Trump falsely claimed that his father was born in Germany was in July 2018, when he criticized E.U. nations doing business with Iran after he broke a nuclear agreement with the country. For years before he became president, Trump also falsely claimed that former president Barack Obama was born in Kenya, a conspiracy theory that he repeated multiple times even after it was disproved. 

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