Trump hosted a UN lunch with a range of leaders from African nations in New York on Wednesday and during a speech went to congratulate them on their economic progress.
However, what the US President apparently meant to be a compliment was met with silence rather than applause.
“I’ve so many friends going to your countries, trying to get rich. I congratulate you. They’re spending a lot of money,” Trump said at the luncheon.
0:00 US President Donald Trump meets Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi Share US President Donald Trump meets Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi
Trump was talking about economic development and what he called the “business potential” of African nations.
Trump said he was interested in boosting US investment into indutries to help create jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.
The President has recalled and not yet replaced most of the Obama-era ambassadors to African countries, meaning there are no US officials in many of the countries with authority to conduct bilateral relationships.
Trump later mispronounced Namibia as “Nambia” when he claimed “Nambia’s health system is increasingly self-sufficient”.
President Donald Trump speaks during a luncheon with African leaders at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017.AAP
The leaders of Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Guinea, Senegal, Namibia and Uganda were present at the President’s lunch during the annual UN General Assembly session.
In a relatively brief speech, Trump also told African leaders that too many people are suffering from conflict on their continent and commended the leaders for working with the US to fight terrorist groups on their home soil.
The president also reiterated what he called an “enormous security threat” from North Korea and called on countries to stand together in implementing UN sanctions against the north.