As her father prepared to meet one of the most notorious dictators on the planet in Singapore, Ivanka Trump tweeted what she referred to as a Chinese proverb:
“Those who say it can not be done, should not interrupt those doing it.” -Chinese Proverb— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) June 11, 2018
There's just one problem: this is most likely not a Chinese proverb.
Users of Chinese microblogging website Weibo were left scratching their heads. Many tried to directly translate Trump's tweet but could not figure out exactly which proverb she had referenced.
The origins of the supposed "proverb" are hazy and, as it turns out, most certainly not Chinese. According to the findings of Quote Investigator, it is often attributed to the Irish author George Bernard Shaw. But even that is not true.
In 1962, the mysterious quote was published in a periodical with the words “Confucius say,” which used to be a popular format to quote jokes that were not really related to Chinese philosopher Confucius in any way.
Trump's tweet was aimed at critics of the historic summit between her father, U.S. President Donald Trump, and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Since the latter is infamous for committing human rights abuses against his own people, many are concerned, and rightfully so, if the Trump administration is lending legitimacy to an authoritarian regime.
However, in true Trump family fashion, Ivanka Trump tried to brush off all criticism, going as far as making up a proverb.
The internet, predictably, has a lot to say about the tweet. Many wondered if Trump even bothers to cross-check the information she shares on social media. She is, after all, a top White House adviser, whose job, as is clear by the title, to advise the president of the United States on important matters. Then again, it's not surprising considering her father throws around fake theories all the time. Just recently, he suggested Canada burnt down the White House in 1812. It was a false statement.
Anyway, people have some scathing, yet hilarious, reactions to Ivanka's fake Chinese proverb:
"You can call any old shit a Chinese proverb on the internet."— Brendan O'Kane (@bokane) June 11, 2018
"This not even remotely an actual Chinese proverb." - Chinese Proverb https://t.co/d7UiTYvrfS— Angry Asian Man (@angryasianman) June 11, 2018
"All the Trumps are liars, cheats and crooks." -Chinese Proverb https://t.co/R5oJVyJ63w— Jenny Chinese Proverb Yang ???????????? (@jennyyangtv) June 12, 2018
“Those who cannot shall be appointed to high-level positions by their family members.” - Chinese Proverb https://t.co/Yys6aujDz6— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) June 11, 2018
“Beware the lady in such rush to get Chinese copyrights that she does not bother to google so-called Chinese proverb” - Confucius, probably https://t.co/kqHgrH4Icx— Don Moynihan (@donmoyn) June 12, 2018
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters