President Donald Trump made an uncomfortable assumption about a union leader while meeting with workers in the aluminum and steel industries on Thursday.
United Steelworker Union local 2227 president Scott Sauritch spoke during the meeting about how his family was affected when his father lost his job because of an effort to increase imports in the 1980s. He ended his speech by speaking directly to his father, Herman.
“Your story didn’t end,” Sauritch said as he promised to try to prevent workers in his union from a similar fate.
“Your father Herman is looking down,” Trump told Sauritch. “He’s very proud of you right now.”
The only problem: Sauritch’s father isn’t dead.
“Oh, he’s still alive,” the steelworker told the president.
The workers and White House staffers in the room laughed at the awkward mistake, and Trump took the misstep in stride.
“Hey, then he’s even more proud of you,” he said.
Trump introduced another worker to speak, then signed two proclamations into law that would impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, with exemptions for Canada and Mexico. The move imposes a 25 percent and 10 percent charge increase on steel and aluminum, respectively.
Watch the incident in the White House livestream below, around the 19-minute mark: