President Donald Trump broke with decades of tradition Thursday by not only attending the Independence Day celebration on the Mall in Washington but making a speech as part of his “Salute to America.”

With the aid of a teleprompter, the president spoke for 45 minutes about U.S. history, especially military history.

There were inaccuracies peppered throughout the speech, but Trump was especially befuddled when he described the Revolutionary army.

“Our army manned the (unclear), it (unclear) the ramparts, it took over the airports, it did everything it had to do. And at Fort McHenry, under ‘the rockets’ red glare,’ it had nothing but victory. And when dawn came, their star-spangled banner waved defiant.”

On Friday, Trump confirmed he had problems with the teleprompter, nut that doesn’t explain the apparent conflation of two wars fought three decades apart. In the first part, Trump mentions Valley Forge, crossing the Delaware and Yorktown, all of which occurred during the Revolutionary War. Then he says, “And at Fort McHenry ...” and describes the battle in which the national anthem was written. This battle was fought in 1814 during the War of 1812.

Then there’s the claim the Army “took over the airports.” Odd considering that earlier in the speech Trump noted the Wright brothers first flew at Kitty Hawk in 1903.

Was it another ad-lib born of teleprompter problems? That’s what Trump said Friday when a reporter asked about the airport line. “Actually, in the middle of that sentence, it went out,” he replied. “And that’s not a good feeling.”


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