Donald Trump welcomed Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela to the White House this morning and quickly reminded him that the U.S. built the Panama Canal.
“The Panama Canal is doing quite well,” Trump told Varela in the Oval Office before their closed-door meeting. “I think we did a good job building it, right?”
Juan Carlos Varela responded, “yeah, 100 years ago.”
Both leaders expressed confidence in the U.S.-Panama relationship in brief statements ahead of their working luncheon.
“Things are going well in Panama. The relationship is very strong,” Trump said. “We are developing new things to do.”
Trump and Varela will discuss transnational organized crime, drug trafficking, and illegal migration during their visit, according to the White House.
The two are also expected to address recent problems in Panama’s neighbor, Venezuela, where hyperinflation and political unrest have sparked months of violent protests.
Twitter had a field day:
Trump built the Panama Canal. He also sent Neil Armstrong into space, discovered America and cured polio.
— Blobert Covfefe 🌮 (@blobert) June 19, 2017
Little known fact: Panama Canal was built by survivors of Bowling Green Massacre.
— Andrew (@ascharfmind) June 19, 2017
Guess Trump is trying to take credit for the Panama Canal now! Must have done that in a past life! https://t.co/4d4oXXA1ys
— Pati Ann (@PatiAnn194) June 19, 2017
Frederick Douglass was the architect, right?
— Gretchen Michelfeld (@GoodGret) June 19, 2017
Asking the Panamanian president for a pat on the back for the contruction of the Panama Canal may be a first for a 21st Century president.
— Richard Lorant (@richard_lorant) June 19, 2017
why does he talk to world leaders like they’re five? #embarrassing
— MJ (@scib0rg) June 19, 2017
I guess he can claim credit for anything in US history now, and demand his props accordingly.
“How about that Louisiana Purchase, huh?”
— 🍸DB McWeeberton (@DBMcWeeberton) June 19, 2017
He’s talking about that because it’s the only Panama fact he knows.
— Devin (@devbost) June 19, 2017
Trump meets w/ the leader of Panama, says “we did a good job building” the Panama Canal—a structure that’s been around for 100+ years ago. pic.twitter.com/uUBJKVDjAP
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 19, 2017