When historians write about the 45th president, they will have to use photos and crayons or else the president himself won’t be able to read it. Because it turns out that the president of the United States, the man who 53 percent of white women voted into office, is about as smart as a second-grader who doesn’t read much.
In A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump’s Testing of America, Washington Post reporters Philip Rucker and Carol D. Leonning paint the portrait of a president who doesn’t know what the fuck is going on.
He doesn’t understand basic geography, having told Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, “It’s not like you’ve got China on your border.”
He’s a president who has to be guided with props, maps and tutored with slideshows (which include a lot of dollar signs) to keep him from getting bored. He’s so uninformed that while he understands that the term “Pearl Harbor” is important, he has no idea why it’s important.
From the Washington Post:
“Hey, John, what’s this all about? What’s this a tour of?” Trump asks his then-Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, as the men prepare to take a private tour of the USS Arizona Memorial, which commemorates the December 1941 Japanese surprise attack in the Pacific that pulled the United States into World War II.
“Trump had heard the phrase ‘Pearl Harbor’ and appeared to understand that he was visiting the scene of a historic battle, but he did not seem to know much else,” write the authors, later quoting a former senior White House adviser who concludes: “He was at times dangerously uninformed.”
Oh, and that isn’t all. This self-absorbed, egomaniacal, arrogant, bag of Cheetos vomit even toyed with the idea of giving himself the Medal of Freedom.
At 417 pages, A Very Stable Genius explores Trump’s disastrous first three years in office and includes such hits as “What the fuck am I doing?” and “When can I meet Putin?” Even the title of the book is a narcissistic noodle from Trump’s own mouth, as he literally called himself a very stable genius.
According to the Post, which received an early copy of the book that’s scheduled to be released Tuesday, Trump has no clue what the fuck he’s doing, and much like a child who’s been promised to meet the driver of the Oscar Mayer hotdog car, early on, Trump pushed through meetings and normal presidential stuff so that he could get to the good part: Boo loving with Russian president Vladimir Putin—or as Trump calls him, “Zaddy.”
Early in his administration, for instance, Trump is eager to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin—so much so, the authors write, “that during the transition he interrupts an interview with one of his secretary of state candidates” to inquire about his pressing desire: “When can I meet Putin? Can I meet with him before the inaugural ceremony?” he asks.
After the two leaders meet face-to-face for the first time—168 days into his presidency at the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg—Trump promptly declares himself a Russia expert, dismissing the expertise of then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who had worked closely with Putin since the 1990s, when Tillerson was working his way up the ExxonMobil corporate ladder and doing business with Russia.
“Tillerson’s years of negotiating with Putin and studying his moves on the chessboard were suddenly irrelevant,” the duo writes. “ ‘I have had a two-hour meeting with Putin,’ Trump told Tillerson. ‘That’s all I need to know. . . . I’ve sized it all up. I’ve got it.’ ”
One of the most shocking parts of the book is learning that Trump reportedly wanted to get rid of the “Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a 1977 law that prevents U.S. firms and individuals from bribing foreign officials for business deals,” the Post reports.
“It’s just so unfair that American companies aren’t allowed to pay bribes to get business overseas,” Trump says, according to the book. “We’re going to change that.”
Wait, an American president wants to change laws to allow for bribery...No! This can’t be. Get Fox News on the phone so they can honestly report this nonsense.
But wait, it gets worse. The president wasn’t mad because bribery is the way of business overseas, he was mad because the law “restricted his industry buddies or his own company’s executives from paying off foreign governments in faraway lands.”
And arguably the most important part of the book, the piece de resistance, if you will: Trump struggles with reading. I know that The Root senior writer Michael Harriot first explored this a while back with his exposés, which can be read here and here, but I think this really sums it up:
Early in his presidency, Trump agrees to participate in an HBO documentary that features judges and lawmakers—as well as all the living presidents—reading aloud from the Constitution. But Trump struggles and stumbles over the text, blaming others in the room for his mistakes and griping, “It’s like a foreign language.”