President Donald Trump met with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny on St. Patrick’s Day, and during the meeting, Trump wanted to share his favorite “Irish proverb.”
“As we stand together with our Irish friends, I’m reminded of a proverb — and this is a good one, this is one I like. I’ve heard it for many, many years and I love it,” Trump said before giving the following quote: “Always remember to forget the friends that proved untrue, but never forget to remember those that have stuck by you.”
The only problem? It isn’t an Irish proverb at all but a quote from a Nigerian poet.
Albasheer Adam Alhassan wrote the poem “Remember to Forget” in 2001 “before people in Nigeria had access to the internet,” according to the poet himself. He had posted the poem online a few years ago, and the quote has appeared on Pinterest pages and other places since.
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“I don’t know why he related it to St Patrick’s Day — it’s got nothing to do with that,” Alhassan told NBC. “It’s just based on my personal experiences.”
The young Muslim poet is well aware of the irony of being quotes by the president, especially considering Trump’s repeated attempts at a Muslim travel ban.
“I think that policy is very harsh. There is a big difference between the way people see Islam and how it actually is,” Alhassan said.