Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's story - and regret - suggesting the United States President mistook her for a politician's wife is making global headlines.

Since Ardern revealed Donald Trump initially thought she was Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's wife at the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam, the reports have spread internationally.

Stories have appeared in the Washington Post, the Independent, the Guardian and the BBC within hours of Ardern ruing her decision to share a "funny yarn" with a friend.

In a story headlined "New Zealand leader regrets story that suggested Trump mistook her for Trudeau's wife" the Washington Post recounts yesterday's controversial TVNZ interview with Jake Tame where Ardern tries to diffuse the situation saying she doesn't want to cause a diplomatic spat.


The Post details an interview with comedian and close friend Tom Sainsbury who revealed Ardern had a chat with him backstage at the New Zealand Music Awards where she talked about what happened when she met Trump.

"I'm not sure if I should be saying this, but she said that Donald Trump was confused for a good amount of time, thinking that she was Justin Trudeau's wife," Sainsbury was quoted, who also added that Ardern told him that Trump was "not as orange in real life".

The Post said Trudeau was married to Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, a former television host who did not physically resemble the New Zealand leader.

The BBC also reported on Ardern's regret saying she rued sharing the funny anecdote but believed she made clear it was an observer's impression of what happened.

"I said there was some confusion over who I was," she said, adding that she could see now how it could have been misinterpreted.

"Tom's a mate of mine. I shared a story with him, he shared it with someone else, I can see how that then spirals ... it is a trifling matter."

The Guardian also kept to the theme of regret with "Jacinda Arden or Trudeau's wife? New Zealand PM regrets 'yarn' about Trump" recounting a visibly uncomfortable leader explaining how the situation unfolded.

The newspaper reported she only realised later how the remark could have backfired and would not be sharing backstage stories again.


Yesterday TVNZ breakfast host Jack Tame grilled Ardern for more than six minutes over the apparent case of mistaken identity.

He was roundly criticised by viewers for being rude to the Prime Minister with some switching off their sets in disgust.

Tame defended his line of questioning saying when a Prime Minister tells a story that embarrasses the US President and wasn't 100 per cent true it was his job to ask the hard questions.