What If Trump Was Misheard? Some Options

Tomayto, tomahto.

Photographer: Martin H. Simon/Bloomberg

Okay, I’ll play. President Donald Trump has denied using nasty, vulgar language at a meeting Thursday with lawmakers to discuss immigration reform. He supposedly referred to African countries and Haiti with a word that’s usually unprintable, but which we’ll get to in a moment. And in Trump’s usual graceless way, he proposed more immigrants from Norway.

What was the word? Well, I won’t quote it here, but if you’re reading this, you’ve already heard. Although news outlets chose various ways to handle what Trump said to the lawmakers, no one felt free to ignore it. One can hardly blame them.

Now Trump says he didn’t say the word everyone is reporting that he said. Fine. Then unless everyone just made it up, he must have been misheard. That possibility creates a mystery. If the president didn’t say what he’s said to have said, what might he have said instead that his guests could have mistaken? Here are nine candidates: