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Media Mocks Trump Over Pronunciation of African Nation He Praised

As the mainstream media raced to capitalize on President Donald Trump’s incorrect pronunciation of the African nation of Namibia as he praised its health care system, one Republican senator suggested there might be other issues worth attention.

On Wednesday, Trump met with African leaders during his visit to the United Nations, During a speech, he called Namibia “Nambia,” which instantly resulted in the news media pouncing on the flaw.

CNN, for example, covered Trump’s speech with the headline, “Trump praises health care of Nambia, a nonexistent African country.”

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., who has had his share of political difference with Trump, suggested the media should calm down on the controversy angle.

“Give @realDonaldTrump a break on Namibia. I lived there during independence. Great country, tricky pronunciation,” he tweeted.

Trump’s comment came while praising efforts of African governments.

“In Guinea and Nigeria, you fought a horrifying Ebola outbreak,” Trump said. “Nambia’s health system is increasingly self-sufficient.”

The White House clarified that Trump was talking about Namibia, which revamped its health care system to avert an Ebola outbreak.

The Washington Post noted that Namibian President Hage Geingob failed to express any negative reaction.

“Neither the Namibian Embassy in Washington nor Namibia’s Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation responded when asked by WorldViews on Thursday about Trump’s comments. The talk of ‘Nambia’ was also surprisingly absent from the websites of many major Namibian media outlets, including the newspaper the Namibian and the Namibian Broadcasting Corp.,” the Post reported.

The focus on Trump’s pronunciation drew media attention away from the substance of his speech, in which he promised to support democracy and the growing economy of African nations.

“In this room, I see partners for promoting prosperity and peace on a range of economic, humanitarian, and security issues. We hope to extend our economic partnerships with countries who are committed to self-reliance and to fostering opportunities for job creation in both Africa and the United States,” Trump said.

“Africa has tremendous business potential. I have so many friends going to your countries, trying to get rich. I congratulate you. They’re spending a lot of money. But it does — it has a tremendous business potential and representing huge amounts of different markets. And for American firms it’s really become a place that they have to go — that they want to go. Of the world’s ten fastest-growing economies are in Africa,” he said.

Trump said the U.S. will partner with African nations.

“The United States will partner with the countries and organizations, like the African Union, that lead successful efforts to end violence, to prevent the spread of terrorism, and to respond to humanitarian crises. I commend your troops currently serving in the field. Very brave. Very, very brave what they’re going through,” he said.

“You well know, too many people are suffering from conflict in Africa. In the Central African Republic, the Congo, Libya, Mali, Somalia, and South Sudan, among others, they’re going through some very, very tough and very dangerous times. Terrorist groups, such as ISIS, al-Shabaab, Boko Haram, and al Qaeda also threaten African peace. The United States is proud to work with you to eradicate terrorist safe havens, to cut off their finances, and to discredit their depraved ideology,” Trump said.

“And a number of you have told me — actually, last night — that we’ve been doing a very good job over the last six or seven months in particular,” Trump added.

Trump said that U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley will be traveling to Africa “to discuss avenues of conflict and resolution, and, most importantly, prevention.”