After almost 18 months on the job, we know that Donald Trump gets all his political information from Fox News. The reality TV star is so used to the medium and has such little ability to concentrate that it appears he can’t actually communicate with people in real life, and relies on his aides getting information through to him on shows like Fox & Friends. The snappy format apparently fits with the president’s gnat like attention span, allowing him to digest just enough information to tweet about it seconds afterwards — a phenomenon now well studied by media observers.
This has now been normalized by the GOP and the right wing media to the point where Trump cannot ever be held to any normal standards, because, well, he is so stupid that it wouldn’t be fair.
Lest you think this is hyperbole, a recent report in the Wall St. Journal indicates that Trump is so ill equipped to perform the basic functions of his presidency that his lawyers spent four hours walking him through two questions in preparation for a potential questioning by Robert Mueller. Yes, you read that correctly.
The Journal’s Peter Nicholas revealed that Trump’s lawyers believe that testifying in the Mueller probe “would be a serious distraction to his work as president,” and that their practice runs so far have been disastrous. Nicholas continues: “In an informal, four-hour practice session, Mr. Trump’s lawyers were only able to walk him through two questions, given the frequent interruptions on national-security matters along with Mr. Trump’s loquaciousness, one person familiar with the matter said.”
As Jonathan Chait puts it: “Trump’s lawyers appear to be arguing that no amount of time is sufficient to prepare him for Mueller because Trump is unable to think or speak in an organized, sequential manner.”
This is of course, unprecedented in US history, but now just accepted as fact in 2018. The special rules that apply to Trump are a product of the truly bizarre political climate he has created in America, where facts are no longer objective, truth is what you believe from one moment to the next, and lying is simply a part of everyday life. Trump’s extraordinarily chaotic personality has infected the White House to the point where no one appears to know what is happening, and Trump’s constant policy reversals, lies, and illegal activities are explained away by him “learning on the job”, or fulfilling the wishes of the American people (most of whom did not vote for him).
It is worth noting that Trump’s new lawyer Rudy Giuliani, when not incriminating his client, floated another defense strategy usually reserved for the clearly guilty (or stupid). On last weekend’s ABC’s “This Week.”Giuliani stated that the president could assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in the Russia investigation.
Giuliani said that he would strongly advise Trump against sitting down with special counsel Robert Mueller incase Trump accidentally incriminates himself.
“I’m going to walk him into a prosecution for perjury like Martha Stewart?” Giuliani said. (Stewart was convicted of obstruction and lying to investigators in an insider trading case.)
In other words, Trump is too stupid or too incompetent to answer basic questions pertaining to a legal matter, yet he is qualified to be President of the United States.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.