Trump subtly admits Modi is ahead of him on Facebook

Donald Trump reiterates his claim of beating Narendra Modi on Facebook, then subtly backtracks

US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi (REUTERS Photo)

Just days before he is likely to address a rally with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, United States President Donald Trump subtly admitted that his recent claim about the rankings of him and his counterpart in New Delhi in terms of popularity on Facebook might not be based on facts.

Trump admitted in his own style that he might have told "a fib" while claiming a few days back that he was "Number One" in terms of popularity on Facebook, followed by PM Modi with "Number Two" rank. He, however, added that Modi had an advantage over him as India had a population of "1.5 billion", while the US had only "350 million" people.

He first reiterated his claim that Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg had conveyed to him recently that he was the "Number One" on the social media website and Modi was "Number Two".

Also read — 'Great honour, I think?' Trump tweets on Facebook ranking him no.1, Modi no. 2 ahead of India visit

"And, I’m going to India next week and we’re talking about — you know, they have 1.5 billion people, and Prime Minister Modi is Number Two on Facebook. Number Two. Think of that," Trump said at an event in Las Vegas, US. "You know who number one is? Trump. Do you believe that?  Trump.  Number One.  I just found that out."

"The head of Facebook, Mr. Zuckerberg, came in three weeks ago.  He said, ‘Congratulations’.  I said, ‘On what?’  He said, ‘You’re number one on Facebook.’  I said, ‘That’s cool.’ Number One on Twitter too.  But that’s because…  It’s true," he said at Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department early on Friday (Indian Standard Time).

Trump had made the same claim in a post on Twitter on February 15. The netizens, however, pointed out that Modi was actually the most popular among the world leaders on Facebook with over 44 million followers. Trump was only a distant second with nearly 26 million followers.

But, even Modi is far behind former US President Barack Obama, who has about 55 million followers on Facebook.

The celebrities in other fields are way ahead of the former and current political leaders though. Shakira has about 100 million followers on Facebook, while legendary football players, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, have around 122.5 million and 90 million followers, respectively.

Trump, however, subtly accepted in Las Vegas that his claim about being “Number One” on Facebook might not be true. "And, if I wasn’t (Number One), I could never say it because it would be breaking news that that Trump told a fib. No, ‘Number One’. And, I congratulated Prime Minister Modi.  I said, ‘But, you know, you have 1.5 billion people.  I have 350 million. You have an advantage’," said the US President.

Trump and his wife, Melania Trump, are set to visit Ahmedabad, Agra and New Delhi on Monday and Tuesday. This is going to be the first state visit by the President and the First Lady of the US to India.

He and Modi will address a rally of about one lakh people at a newly-built cricket stadium in Ahmedabad on Monday. The two leaders will hold formal meetings at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Tuesday.

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