Trump says teleprompter failed in speech that bungled history of 'Star-Spangled Banner,' Fort McHenry battle

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President Donald Trump said the teleprompter cut out during the Independence Day speech in which he seemed to bungle his history, mistaking the Battle of Fort McHenry as taking place during the American Revolution and acknowledging airports more than 125 years before humans took flight.

“The teleprompter went out," Trump said Friday. "Right in the middle of that sentence it went out." He added: "I knew the speech very well so I was able to do it without a teleprompter."


During the ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial, the president recapped a history of American military accomplishments in a prescripted speech. However, Trump appeared to go off book as he spoke about the Continental Army around the 43-minute mark.

Trump states that the Army “manned the air” and “took over the airports,” which was impossible as airplanes had not been invented yet. The Wright brothers would not take their first flight until 1903.


The president also appeared to confuse the Continental Army as being involved in the Battle at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, which took place during the War of 1812. At one point in the speech, he quotes portions of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key about the Maryland battle.

“In June of 1775, The Continental Congress created a unified army out of the revolutionary forces encamped around Boston and New York, and named after the great George Washington, commander in chief,” Trump said in his speech. “The Continental Army suffered a bitter winter of Valley Forge, found glory across the waters of the Delaware and seized victory from Cornwallis of Yorktown. Our army manned the air. It rammed the ramparts. It took over the airports. It did everything it had to do. At [Fort McHenry], under the rockets’ red glare, it had nothing but victory. A when dawn came, their star-spangled banner waived defiant.”

The full speech is available for viewing on the C-Span website.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.