President Donald Trump deleted a tweet Monday in which he had mistakenly said he had spoken by phone with Sri Lanka's president instead of the country's prime minister in the wake of the Easter Sunday explosions that killed 290 people and wounded more than 500.
The deleted tweet marks the second time Trump has tweeted erroneous information related to the Sri Lanka attacks. In a now-deleted Sunday morning tweet, he grossly overstated the death toll as "at least 138 million people."
According to a statement from White House spokesman Hogan Gidley, Trump called Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Monday morning to express condolences for the attacks and pledge the support of the United States.
But in a tweet Monday afternoon, Trump misstated both the name of the leader and the day of the call. Trump said he had called Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Sunday, according to Factba.se, which archives the president's tweets and other public comments.
"Spoke to President Maithripala Sirisena of Sri Lanka yesterday to inform him that the United States stands by him and his country in the fight against terrorism," Trump said in the deleted tweet. "Also expressed condolences on behalf of myself and the People of the United States."
He later posted a corrected tweet stating that he "spoke to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of Sri Lanka this morning."
The two Sri Lankan leaders have a fraught history.
Last year, Sirisena had sought to oust Wickremesinghe and replace him with former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, sparking a political crisis. A majority of lawmakers rejected the power grab, and Wickremesinghe refused to vacate his office, even as Rajapaksa selected cabinet ministers and began conducting official business.
Sirisena then attempted to dissolve Parliament, a move the country's Supreme Court ruled was unconstitutional. A court also restrained Rajapaksa and his cabinet from functioning.
After a stalemate that stretched on for seven weeks, Wickremesinghe prevailed and was once again sworn in as prime minister by Sirisena in December.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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