The Slatest

Trump Tweet Claiming Millions Killed in Sri Lanka Bombings Stays Up for 20 Minutes

President Donald Trump walks to Marine One prior to departing from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C. on December 7, 2018.
President Donald Trump walks to Marine One prior to departing from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C. on December 7, 2018.
SAUL LOEB/Getty Images

President Donald Trump Sent a tweet Sunday morning expressing condolences for the bombings of churches and hotels in Sri Lanka that killed more than 200 people on Easter Sunday. But in expressing his support for the victims, Trump wildly inflated the number of dead, claiming that the blasts killed “at least 138 million people.” The population of Sri Lanka is 21.4 million. “Heartfelt condolences from the people of the United States to the people of Sri Lanka on the horrible terrorist attacks on churches and hotels that have killed at least 138 million people and badly injured 600 more,” Trump wrote in the original tweet. “We stand ready to help!”

No one is immune to typos. But what seems particularly surprising about the Sunday morning tweet with the wildly inflated death toll is that it stayed up for at least 20 minutes before it was deleted and corrected. Trump even sent out another tweet before he evidently noticed the error, wishing his followers a “Happy Easter” and patting himself on the back “because your Country is doing so well.”

Trump eventually replaced his Sri Lanka tweet with another one that put the death toll right at the front of the message. “138 people have been killed in Sri Lanka, with more that 600 badly injured, in a terrorist attack on churches and hotels,” Trump wrote. “The United States offers heartfelt condolences to the great people of Sri Lanka. We stand ready to help!” Early estimates had put the death toll at less than 140 but it has since increased to more than 200.