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President Trump Calls Kenneth Mapp Governor ‘of Michigan’ in White House Bill Signing Ceremony

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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump called U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Kenneth Mapp “the President of the Virgin Islands” six months ago.

On Wednesday, in a bill signing ceremony inside the Oval Office, President Trump referred to Mapp as “Governor Kenneth Mapp of Michigan.”

“I also want to thank Governor Kenneth Mapp of Michigan,” Trump said at the White House. “And we have … where is Kenneth? Kenneth is here. Kenneth?”

At this point, Trump motions for Mapp to come over to his desk to shake his hand.

“Hi, Kenneth. C’mon over here,” Trump said to Mapp, as he is shaking the governor’s hand he says: “Go straighten out those beautiful islands. All right? Gov. Kenneth Mapp and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schutte, who has been great in so many ways. And good luck with your race.”

At this point, the president motions for Schutte to come over and shake his hand.

The actual Governor of Michigan is Rick Synder, a Republican.

The White House transcript corrects the president’s mistake by drawing a line through “Michigan” and inserting “U.S. Virgin Islands.”

The Virgin Islands Free Press transcript does not correspond with the official presidential transcript (see official White House transcript below).

The bill Trump signed is a mashup of the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) and the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA), which is commonly referred to as the latter—passed Congress in March.

It makes websites liable for what users say and do on their platforms, and many advocacy groups have come out against the bill, saying that it undermines essential Internet freedoms.

On October 13, 2017, the president referred to Mapp this way:

“I will tell you I left Texas and I left Florida and I left Louisiana and I went to Puerto Rico and I met with the President of the Virgin Islands,” Trump told an audience at the Values Voter Summit in Washington. “We are one nation and we all hurt together, we hope together and we heal together,” he said, later adding, “The Virgin Islands and the President of the Virgin Islands, these are people that are incredible people, they suffered gravely and we’re be there, we’re going to be there, we have really, it is not even a question of a choice.”

See the video below:

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Caribbean region since 1989. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.

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