The president misspoke during a speech at the Pentagon to welcome his new defence secretary, Mark Esper, appearing to get confused over the word “infantry” and coming up with his own term instead.
Referring to Mr Esper’s distinguished record in the US armed forces, Mr Trump said he was awarded “the bronze star and the combat infantroopen badge for his service”.
An official White House read-out of his speech quoted the president stating: “He was awarded the bronze star and the combat infantryman badge for his service.”
Slurring his words slightly as he spoke at the welcome ceremony in Arlington, Virginia, the president also referred to lawmakers as “lawmurkers”.
Some viewers who mocked the infantroopen term on social media said it sounded like young children were being sent to the front line, while others thought it had the feel of a Nazi combat unit.
It is not the first time Mr Trump has mispronounced words, calling President Ulysses S Grant “Ulucious”, referring to Tanzania as “Tanzaynia” and describing renovation of his border wall as “renoversion”.
Last September the president repeatedly struggled to say the word “anonymous”, and in December 2017 he slurred his way through a speech about Israel, prompting suggestions he was suffering from a medical problem. Then-White House press secretary Sarah Sanders blamed it on a “dry throat”.
Earlier this week he made the slightly odd assertion that people in the UK referred to Boris Johnson as “Britain Trump”.
His most infamous linguistic invention was referring to coverage as “covfefe” on Twitter, a spelling error he embraced by later tweeting: “Who can figure out the true meaning of ‘covfefe’??? Enjoy!”
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