America found out late last night and early this morning that our 41st president, George H.W. Bush, has passed away at the age of 94. In traditional fashion, former and past presidents have already begun issuing statements of sorrow to the public, directed towards the former president’s family and loved one.
Despite the differences they had, President Trump released his own statement very early this morning, and the White House retweeted this statement soon thereafter. The statement was then retweeted by Vice President Mike Pence as well. The problem is that the 5-paragraph statement is inaccurate. The first sentence of the third paragraph reads:
“President Bush always found a way to set the bar higher. As a young man, he captained the Yale baseball team, and then went on to serve as the youngest aviator in the United States Navy during the Second World War.”
President Bush did not attend Yale, much less play baseball for Yale, prior to serving in the Navy. It wasn’t until after he was honorably discharged from active duty in the Navy in September of 1945 that he enrolled at Yale University and joined the baseball team. Just days after graduating high school, on June 12, 1942, Bush, who had planned to go to Yale, enrolled in the Navy at 18 years of age instead.
Bush was originally accepted for enrollment at Yale while completing his final year at Andover in high school. However, after Pearl Harbor was bombed Bush decided to join the military and fight for his country instead.
While the error in Trump’s statement is no big deal, one would expect that both the White House would fact check their statements prior to releasing it to the public.