The White House Made an Error About One of the Most Sensitive Geopolitical Situations on Earth

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Just about everyone has made a typo at one point. It’s not the biggest deal. What is a big deal is when the White House releases an official statement on Iranian nuclear weapons that includes a typo which changes their message so much that it winds up making a false statement about one of the most delicate international issues on the planet.

That, amazingly, seems to be exactly what happened late Monday evening, when the Trump administration was forced to amend an emailed statement which claimed Iran “has a robust, clandestine nuclear weapons program that it has tried & failed to hide from the world.”


“Has.” Present tense. Currently existing in the here and now.

Seems bad, right? Especially given President Donald Trump’s not-so-subtle hints that he plans to pull the United States out of the nuclear deal that aims to prevent Iran from having a “robust, clandestine nuclear weapons program.”

But if you look at the version of that same statement that was posted to the White House website itself shortly thereafter, you’ll notice a small, but significant difference:


“Had.” Past tense. Oopsie!

According to the White House, the unsubstantiated claim that Iran currently has a top secret atomic bomb program was the result of a “clerical error,” which is the sort of thing ordinary people blame for a phone bill that’s too high, or magazine subscriptions sent to Ms. Chanandler Bong.