CNN’s Jeff Zeleny might want to brush up on his history. Wrapping up a report on President Trump’s visit to Paris for CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin on July 13, Zeleny, CNN’s Senior White House Correspondent, mentioned that the French celebration of Bastille Day which takes place tomorrow “marks the 100th year of when the U.S. started helping – entered World War I.”
In fact, Bastille Day marks the anniversary of the start of the French Revolution on July 14, 1789, when angry French peasants stormed the Bastille prison – 228 years ago.
What Zeleny may have been trying to refer to was the presence of approximately 190 American troops in the Bastille Day parade, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of American involvement in World War I (The United States entered World War I on April 6, 1917). However, the Bastille Day holiday itself has nothing to do with World War I or the United States.
As of the writing of this blog, Zeleny has given another report on President Trump’s visit to Paris, without correcting himself or mentioning Bastille Day again.
UPDATE: Two hours after his earlier gaffe, Zeleny mentioned in a prerecorded report on The Lead With Jake Tapper that Trump was "invited by President Macron to celebrate Bastille Day and the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I" [emphasis added]. However, he made no mention of his earlier mix-up.