The Internet is having a field day after Donald Trump called Luciano Pavarotti a “great friend”, seemingly unaware the opera singer passed away nearly a decade ago.
“Friend of mine, great friend of mine,” Trump said of Pavarotti on Thursday afternoon during a press conference with the Italian prime minister. Speaking in the present tense, Trump did not seem aware that Pavarotti had died in 2007. He did not clarify his comments, providing plenty of fodder for social media and the late-night talk show circuit.
The legendary Pavarotti passed away at age 71 after a battle with pancreatic cancer in September 2007. Despite any “friendship” that Trump may claim exists between the men, the goodwill certainly doesn’t extend to the late singer’s family.
In July, Pavarotti’s family asked the Trump campaign to stop playing the late singer’s signature aria, “Nessun Dorma”, at his campaign rallies.
“As members of his immediate family, we would like to recall that the values of brotherhood and solidarity which Luciano Pavarotti expressed throughout the course of his artistic career are entirely incompatible with the world view offered by the candidate Donald Trump,” the family’s statement read.
Jimmy Kimmel skewered Trump’s comments, conjuring a ghostly Pavarotti on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”.
News of Trump’s “friendship” with the deceased singer comes on the heels of an interview in which the president seemingly confused North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un with the the late Kim Jong-Il, referring to both men as “this gentleman.”
Twitter couldn’t help but react to Trump’s comments on Pavarotti.