President Donald Trump was “exhausted” when he mistakenly said “Islamic extremism” during his speech on Sunday in Saudi Arabia.
In the speech–where he departed from his typical rhetoric about terrorism–“Islamist extremism” was written into his address, according to officials, but Trump said “Islamic extremism.” Trump also spoke about the need for peace and cooperation among Middle Eastern countries to combat terrorism.
The slip up is not trivial. “Islamic” references the Muslim religion, while “Islamist” refers to extremist movements trying to draw support from the Muslim world.
The reason for the diversion was because of exhaustion, aides reportedly said.
Asked about line in speech today when Trump said Islamic instead of Islamist, a senior White House official said: “He’s an exhausted guy."— Jeff Zeleny (@jeffzeleny) May 21, 2017
“Just an exhausted guy,” a senior White House official said, according to CNN.
Stamina and exhaustion were key talking points for Trump during the campaign trail, where he repeatedly said that his opponent Hillary Clinton did not have the “physical stamina” to be president.
With news of Trump’s exhaustion causing the slip up in his speech–and for him reportedly skipping a planned event with youth to discuss combating extremism on social media–his railing on Clinton about stamina has not aged well.
“She doesn’t have the look, she doesn’t have the stamina,” Trump said during a debate in September 2016. “To be president of this country, you need tremendous stamina.”
CNN reported that Trump had not gotten much sleep during the first stint of his foreign trip.
Trump is currently in Israel on the second leg of his nine-day trip, with stops in Italy and Belgium to follow.