The latest tidbit of Trump idiocy making the rounds is this disclosure about his call last week with Vladimir Putin:
When Putin raised the possibility of extending the 2010 treaty, known as New START, Trump paused to ask his aides in an aside what the treaty was, these sources said. Trump then told Putin the treaty was one of several bad deals negotiated by the Obama administration, saying that New START favored Russia. Trump also talked about his own popularity, the sources said.
There are, as usual, several things we can say about this:
- Trump’s ignorance is almost boundless.
- He nonetheless refuses to be briefed before calls with foreign leaders.
- The willingness of his staff to leak unflattering anecdotes about him is both epic and unprecedented.
But the bit that caught my attention was this: “Trump also talked about his own popularity, the sources said.” This is far from the first time we’ve heard this. Trump is apparently nearly incapable of talking with a foreign leader without blathering about how terrific he is, how well loved he is, how epic his victory was, and how gigantic the crowds at his inauguration were.
And as long as we’re on the subject, here’s Trump idiocy #2 for the day. Sen. Joe Manchin passes along the following anecdote about immigration legislation from a White House lunch today:
According to the West Virginia Democrat, when Trump noted that there is no current immigration legislation under consideration on Capitol Hill, another senator in attendance, Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), mentioned the 2013 bill. Alexander also noted that the 2013 bill had passed with 68 votes, Manchin recalled.
“Well, that sounds like something good and you all agreed, 68? What happened to it?” Trump said, according to Manchin.
“I’ll tell you exactly what happened, Mr. President,” Manchin said he told Trump. “It went to the House and [Majority Leader] Eric Cantor gets defeated. They’re crying ‘Amnesty, amnesty, amnesty’ and [House Speaker] John Boehner could not bring it back up on the floor and get a vote — that’s exactly what happened.”
At that point, Trump said, “I want to see it,” Manchin said. “So he was very anxious to see it. He says, ‘I know what amnesty is.’ And I said, ‘Sir, I don’t think you’re going to find this [is] amnesty at all.’”
Sean Spicer later “clarified” that Trump opposes the 2013 bill and considers it to be amnesty. And I suppose he does, now that someone has told him what his opinion is supposed to be.