LONDON – President Trump got the wrong woman and Twitter users were there to screen-grab the evidence.
Trump's tweet came at 1 a.m. GMT, when many Brits were fast asleep. It had been an unusual day in Britain, with President Trump retweeting several videos from far-right group, Britain First.
Taking aim at Prime Minister Theresa May's sharp rebuke of his actions, Trump wanted May to know he was unhappy. In Trump fashion, he took to Twitter to air his grievances but targeted the wrong @TheresaMay.
Unfortunately for Trump, the target of his tweet was not the prime minister of the United Kingdom as he had intended, but in fact another woman named Theresa May Scrivener who has just six followers and a protected account. Trump's schoolboy error was met with shock, amusement and left many Brits wondering: "Who the hell is Theresa May Scrivener?"
Many eagle-eyed Twitter users pounced on Trump's mistake, taking screen-grabs of the presidential error and sharing them. The initial tweet reads: "Theresa @theresamay, don't focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!" Trump's tweet was quickly deleted.
"The best part about this is that a random woman called Theresa May Scrivener, with 6 followers. just received a diplomatic correspondence by tweet from the US President," tweeted Gerard Brady, who attached a screen-grab of Trump's error.
Some 14 minutes later Trump tried again. This time he got the right Twitter handle and targeted the actual prime minister of the United Kingdom. Trump kept the wording of his second attempt the same.
While many were amused at Trump's misfiring, some spared a thought for Theresa May Scrivener.
"Today, I feel sorry for Theresa Scrivener @theresamay, waking up to THIS from the President of the United States," read one tweet.
"Poor Theresa Scrivener must have wondered what she had done!" tweeted another.
"Theresa Scrivener is one confused lady right now." wrote another user, summing up the incident.
Aside from the eye-rolling at his latest gaffe, Trump's promotion of videos from Britain First combined with such a public swipe at May triggered anger and concern. #SpecialRelationship began trending on Twitter as hundreds questioned the current state of U.S.-British relations. Some accused Trump of interfering with British politics; others suggested Trump's visit to Britain should be put on hold, indefinitely. A spokesman for May confirmed that "an invitation for a state visit has been extended and has been accepted." No further details were provided.
May, who is currently on a visit to Jordan's capital, Amman, stood her ground with the rebuke of Trump.
"The fact that we work together does not mean that we're afraid to say when we think the United States has got it wrong, and to be very clear with them," she said. "I'm very clear, that retweeting from Britain First was the wrong thing to do."
May's response was met with applause.
Theresa May Scrivener, now dubbed the 'wrong Theresa May' broke her silence Thursday. "If I wanted to be famous I would have gone on X-Factor." She told the Press Association in an interview. "I was in bed by half ten last night and oblivious to it all. I'm just waiting for a call from the White House with an apology."
She added, "It's amazing to think that the world's most powerful man managed to press the wrong button."
"I'm just glad he was not contacting me to say he was going to war with North Korea," she said.
Describing her bewilderment at becoming involved in a political firestorm, the 41-year-old said: "I haven't been able to leave my house. I've been bombarded and contacted by press from around the world."
"He needs to think before he tweets. We – Theresa May and I – are so different. Our profiles are completely different. She runs the country, I'm a mum from Bognor." Bognor Regis is a seaside town in the south of England, quite a way from the real Theresa May's office in Downing Street, Westminster.
Scrivener explained that despite Trump's error, she would not be changing her name. "Why should I? It's my name I'm not going to change it."