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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Trump's Ignorance on Display

At the Wall Street Journal, Gerard Baker,  Carol E. Lee and  Michael C. Bender describe Trump's recent meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping:
He said they hit it off during their first discussion. Mr. Trump said he told his Chinese counterpart he believed Beijing could easily take care of the North Korea threat. Mr. Xi then explained the history of China and Korea, Mr. Trump said.
“After listening for 10 minutes, I realized it’s not so easy,” Mr. Trump recounted. “I felt pretty strongly that they had a tremendous power” over North Korea,” he said. “But it’s not what you would think.”
 Zack Beauchamp writes at Vox:
  1. Trump thought China could fix North Korea until the Chinese president politely informed him that North Korea is in fact complicated.
  2. Trump seems to have required the leader of China to explain basic facts to him that he could have Googled, or at least asked one of the many US government North Korea experts about.
  3. Trump came to a profound realization about one of the most dangerous conflicts on earth after a 10-minute conversation.
  4. Trump is getting his information about East Asian affairs from the leader of America’s largest rival in the region.
An interview with Maria Bartiromo of Fox:
 TRUMP: I was sitting at the table.  We had finished dinner.  We're now having dessert.  And we had the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake that you've ever seen and President Xi was enjoying it.
And I was given the message from the generals that the ships are locked and loaded, what do you do?
And we made a determination to do it, so the missiles were on the way.  And I said, Mr. President, let me explain something to you.  This was during dessert.
We've just fired 59 missiles, all of which hit, by the way, unbelievable, from, you know, hundreds of miles away, all of which hit, amazing.
BARTIROMO:  Unmanned?
Brilliant.
TRUMP:  It's so incredible.  It's brilliant.  It's genius.  Our technology, our equipment, is better than anybody by a factor of five.  I mean look, we have, in terms of technology, nobody can even come close to competing.
Now we're going to start getting it, because, you know, the military has been cut back and depleted so badly by the past administration and by the war in Iraq, which was another disaster.
So what happens is I said we've just launched 59 missiles heading to Iraq and I wanted you to know this. And he was eating his cake. And he was silent.
BARTIROMO:  (INAUDIBLE) to Syria?
TRUMP:  Yes. Heading toward Syria. In other words, we've just launched 59 missiles heading toward Syria.  And I want you to know that, because I didn't want him to go home.  We were almost finished.  It was a full day in Palm Beach.  We're almost finished and I — what does he do, finish his dessert and go home and then they say, you know, the guy you just had dinner with just attacked a country?