Ivanka Trump tweets a 'Chinese proverb' that doesn't exist and has the Internet asking: Source?

“The cool thing about the internet is that you can write anything and quote anyone.” — Abraham Lincoln

Obviously, this notion isn’t true, especially if you’re in the public eye and regularly fact-checked.

As President Trump arrived in Singapore to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, his daughter Ivanka Trump tweeted a wise and timely quote.


Upon further investigation, however, this quote doesn’t actually appear to be a Chinese proverb at all. In fact, no one quite knows where it comes from, and it is often attributed to Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw, but there is no evidence supporting that either.

Quote Investigator suggests that it first appeared in 1903, in a periodical called The Public, from Chicago, and referred to the innovations taking place during that time.

In 1962, another periodical, Adult Leadership, printed the quote using the familiar and politically incorrect joke setup “Confucius say…” Jokes that began that way would be grammatically incorrect and often vulgar.

The quote that Ivanka Trump used is also raising a few eyebrows in and of itself. No one has said that meeting with the dictator of North Korea couldn’t be done, but there have been plenty of questions as to whether it should be done.


Ronny Chieng, a correspondent on The Daily Show, tweeted, “This is NOT a Chinese idiom,” and he’s not the only one to call out Trump on her quote.




Maybe next time, she will fact-check herself before she tweets — a lesson we all have to learn at some point.

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