While surveying the damage owing to the deadly wildfire that has ravaged Paradise, California, US President Donald Trump said Finnish people regularly use rakes to clear the country’s forest floors to prevent such catastrophes. The POTUS claimed that Finnish President Sauli Niinistö told him that about how his country prevents forest fires — something Niinistö doesn’t recall saying.
The two world leaders did meet in Paris on Armistice Day and speak about California fires and the Scandinavian nation’s new aerial surveillance system to monitor potential threats, but nothing was said about raking.
Social media users quickly latched onto Trump’s claim as ‘Rake America Great Again’ began to trend and Finnish people challenged his fake news with #RakeNews.
People of Finland couldn’t stop trolling Trump with leaf-raking photos with #Haravointi, which means raking in Finnish.
— Pauliina Ståhlberg (@PStahlberg) November 19, 2018
— Lauri Markkanen (@MarkkanenLauri) November 19, 2018
— Nancy Lee Grahn (@NancyLeeGrahn) November 19, 2018
Monkees cleaning up the floor from leaves!#RakeAmericaGreatAgain
— Cali Dreaming NaphiSoc (@NaphiSoc) November 19, 2018
— Tarja van Veldhoven (@tarjuccia) November 19, 2018
— Sealed Indictments Anyone??🤔 (@HealingCombat) November 19, 2018
— Marcel Baur (@marcel_baur) November 19, 2018
— ein BAO von CINCY (@BaoThien) November 19, 2018
— Anu Koskela (@anu_on_trains) November 18, 2018
— 亅Φ Ν Δ Η ₭iレレ ッ (@deathbyd3s1gn) November 18, 2018
— Iiris Lahti (@LahtiIiris) November 18, 2018
— Fiona Bateman (@fi_bateman_) November 18, 2018
Greetings from #Finland! Just taking a break from raking leaves and having a lunch. We have the best rakes in the world! #RakeAmericaGreatAgain #RakeTheForest #Trump #SundayFunday #SundayMorning #rakenews #CaliforniaWildFires #ClimateChange #haravointi #metsänhoito #CampFire pic.twitter.com/gsM8CbLdSi
— Kristiina Vahvaselkä (@TravelWithXtina) November 18, 2018
Just an ordinary day in the Finnish forest ~ Ihan normipäivä suomalaisessa metsässä #Trump #forest #firesafety #raking #forestry #Finland #Finnish #CaliforniaFire #RakingAmericaGreatAgain #rakingtheforest #Suomi #haravointi #metsäpalot #rakingleaves pic.twitter.com/YOKA3D6C2K
— Pyry Luminen (@pyryluminen) November 18, 2018
Good luck Mr Trump! Best raking regards from Finland! pic.twitter.com/xsV5qHZ1Jk
— Aleksi Valavuori (@Valavuori) November 18, 2018
— Jani Salokangas (@janisalokangas) November 17, 2018
“I was with the President of Finland. He called it a forest nation and they spent a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things and they don’t have any problem,” Trump told reporters.
The Finnish president told the Ilta-Sanomat newspaper Sunday he did speak briefly with Trump about forest management and that he’d made the comment about Finland being able to “take care of our forests,” but nothing about raking.