President Biden butchered UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s name on Monday while calling the new leader’s achievement “outstanding” and “groundbreaking.”
Biden’s very noticeable mispronunciation of the new PM’s name came during a White House event celebrating Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.
“Just today, we’ve got news that Rashee, Rashee Sanook is now the prime minister,” Biden said, mangling Rishi Sunak’s name.
“Pretty astounding,” Biden continued. “A groundbreaking milestone. And it matters, it matters.”
Sunak is a Hindu and the first person of color to be the UK’s prime minister.
British Twitter users were flabbergasted by the president’s flub, which came during his first public comments on the rise of Sunak.
“Who is Rashee Sanook?” British actor Matthew Marsden said in a post.
“PM Sunak spoke to President Joe Biden over the phone this evening. Unclear whether he referred to him as ‘Rashee Sanook’ again,” Shehab Khan, a reporter with ITV News, noted in tweet.
“Congratulations Rushi Sanoook, idiot,” Adam Brooks, a British commentator, said in a tweet, adding a facepalm emoji and sharing a video of Biden’s latest gaffe.
At 42-years-old, Sunak is Great Britain’s youngest leader in 200 years. He was formerly the chancellor of the exchequer, equivalent to the Treasury secretary position in the US, and is a multimillionaire former hedge fund boss.
Sunak is a member of the UK’s Conservative Party. He became Britain’s third prime minister in less than two months after Liz Truss resigned as PM amid an uproar over her economic agenda.