How can I choose the right president

On October 17, posts in English and German appeared on Facebook and Twitter claiming that Donald Trump called Italian President Sergio Mattarella “President Mozzarella” at a meeting in Washington. In addition, Trump said, "the USA has been allies since the times of ancient Rome (!)". However, Trump did not make either statement.

No “mozzarella” from Trump

There are two situations at the October 16 press conference in Washington where the two presidents met in public. In one, Sergio Mattarella and Donald Trump are standing next to each other, in the other they are sitting with two translators behind them. The videos of the press conferences are available on Youtube. Meanwhile, Youtube automatically creates transcripts of videos. We searched for the part of the word “ella” and the word “mozzarella” actually appears twice in the transcript of the current press conference.

However, it is not Donald Trump who says the name of the Italian president, but a translator who translates questions from Italian journalists to Mattarella. Once at 1:13:13 and once from 1:23:20.

Whether or not it sounds more like “Mazzarella”, i.e. the “t” pronounced harshly by Mattarella, everyone has to decide after listening.

Trump only says the name of the Italian president once. From minute 41:30 it sounds like “Madurella”, Youtube transcribes it like this: “President Maduro ella”. So nowhere does Trump say “President Mozzarella”.

Also the fact checker of the American organization Snopes came to this conclusion. They also pointed out that the posts claiming on social networks did not contain video material. We found the same situation with the German contributions.

And some that contained it, like a tweet from EHA News, showed a video in which the alleged statement does not even appear. In the excerpt from EHA News is about servers that Trump wants to get access to.

The translator

Another protagonist of the allegations is the translator who sits behind the president during the conversation. In the video of the seated press conference, you can see her looking intently in different directions and apparently taking notes on what Trump is saying. Then she translates Trump's statements into Italian based on her notes.

Some posts use pictures of the woman and claim that their looks are reactions to Trump's alleged “mozzarella” promises. However, if you watch videos of the press conference at which the translator was present, you can see that she casts her concentrated looks, which some interpret as horror, criticism or disbelief, regardless of what topic Trump is talking about.

The United States and Ancient Rome

Trump received further ridicule for a statement he made at the beginning of the press conference. There he says, "The United States and Italy are linked by a shared cultural and political heritage that goes back thousands of years to ancient Rome."

So he is not saying that the United States, founded in 1776, was "connected" to the Roman Empire, which collapsed in AD 476.

Snopes judges in the fact check: "The influence of the Roman Empire on the founding and principles of the American Republic are well documented and Trump's statement is historically sound." Other media, including Newsweek, report that historians step aside Trump and call his statement correct.