News & Politics

Here are 7 of the most ridiculous and embarrassing moments from Trump's latest interview revealing he has no idea how to be president

Trump's interviews seem to be increasingly nonsensical and absurd.

Photo Credit: Official White House Photos by Joyce N. Boghosian

In what has become an ongoing saga, President Donald Trump gave an interview to the Washington Post published Tuesday that reinforced just how inept and unfit he is to be president.

Many of his claims make little sense, and they demonstrate a lack of critical thinking skills and reflection that would be concerning in someone with a job with much lower stakes. And yet, he remains the most powerful person in the world.

Here are seven of his most ridiculous and embarrassing comments proving his inability to act like a competent president: 

1.“I’m doing deals, and I’m not being accommodated by the Fed.”

Like in many other elements of policy, Trump fails to realize that Federal Reserve policy is not about him. There's a good case to be made that the Fed is acting with unneeded urgency to raise interest rates, despite inflation remaining low.

But this argument has absolutely nothing to do with "accommodating" Trump himself, and the fact that he can't make an economic argument about the country's wellbeing without reference to his personal needs is distressing.

2. More on the Fed: “They’re making a mistake because I have a gut and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else’s brain can ever tell me.”

As many observers pointed out, this remark sounded like Stephen Colbert's parody of President George W. Bush. In the case of Trump, however, no parody is needed — his own words are a complete joke without the involvement of any professional comedian. 

3. Regarding climate change, Trump said: “One of the problems that a lot of people like myself, we have very high levels of intelligence but we’re not necessarily such believers.” 

Putting aside the absurdity of Trump's boasts about his own intelligence, this claim — like many the president makes — is simply unintelligible. What is he actually saying about climate change? He doesn't believe it because smart people like him don't believe it?

Climate change denialism is delusional, but at least some of its defenders can string together a coherent argument to defend the view. Trump can't even manage that. 

4. Trump suggested he might not hold his forthcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin because of the country's recent aggression toward Ukraine: “Maybe I won’t have the meeting. Maybe I won’t even have the meeting . . . I don’t like that aggression. I don’t want that aggression at all.”

Few will buy the idea that Trump actually has plans to punish Putin for any wrongdoing. But this half-hearted attempt to show resolve about the situation is even worse than keeping his mouth shut. Trump demonstrated that he has little understanding or interest in Putin's efforts to interfere in Ukraine and used such mild language to suggest pulling out of the meeting that he might as well have encouraged Russia's violations.

5. On Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's reported assassination of Jamal Khashoggi: “Maybe he did, and maybe he didn’t,” Trump said. “But he denies it. And people around him deny it. And the CIA did not say affirmatively he did it, either, by the way."

The Post reported that the CIA has concluded with high confidence that the crown prince did, in fact, order Khashoggi's killing. But again, Trump shows he has little interest in actually learning the truth about Khashoggi's death, empowering authoritarians like the Saudi prince to continue horrific human rights abuses.

He also makes clear that he has no real understanding of how intelligence works, apparently citing the fact that the CIA doesn't claim 100 percent certainty as a reason to say the answer is unknowable. Of course, whenever it comes to people he sees as his real enemies — like Hillary Clinton — he quickly comes to the conclusion that they're guilty of crimes without seeing any evidence.

6. Trump said that "experts” told him the U.S. military needs to stay in the Middle East.

Discussing the United States' ongoing military operations overseas, Trump cited "experts" as the reason he hasn't pulled the troops out. Of course, any president relies on experts to advise on military matters, but an administration's foreign policy ought to be driven by the president's values, goals, and vision for the country's future on the world stage. They should use experts to inform how they can accomplish what they want for the country, but the "experts" themselves shouldn't be deciding what to do.

But Trump is unable to formulate a compelling vision for American foreign policy and its use of military force, so he just kicks the can down the road. And to avoid getting blamed for any negative outcomes, he's preemptively assigning responsibility to others.

7. Regarding American interests in Middle Eastern oil as a reason for U.S. involvement in the region: “Oil is becoming less and less of a reason because we’re producing more oil now than we’ve ever produced. So, you know, all of a sudden it gets to a point where you don’t have to stay there.”

Trump seems to believe that the recent drop in oil prices — for which he takes full credit — is a permanent new trend, rather than part of the ongoing fluctuation in the markets for natural resources. He makes no effort to defend this view — again, he's just spouting nonsense that he thinks sounds good and informed.

In reality, he has no idea what he's talking about.

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Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.