Although in more “normal” times, this story would probably get a lot more traction, it remains disturbing nonetheless.
The New York Times released an interview with President Donald Trump on Wednesday, and in that interview, Trump exhibits a third grade level understanding of world history. Remember folks, this is the president of the United States, and your children can probably explain European history better than he can.
He was talking to his interviewers about his recent trip to Paris, and, apparently, during that trip, he visited Napoleon’s tomb. After mentioning this, he went on to offer commentary on the trajectory of European history that is both curiously detached from reality and curiously laudatory towards the Russians.
Speaking of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and French leader Napoleon Bonaparte’s respective failed military forays into Russia, Trump said:
‘Well, Napoleon finished a little bit bad… So I asked [French President Macron], so what about Napoleon? He said: “No, no, no. What he did was incredible. He designed Paris.” The street grid, the way they work, you know, the spokes. He did so many things even beyond. And his one problem is he didn’t go to Russia that night because he had extracurricular activities, and they froze to death. How many times has Russia been saved by the weather?’
What is he talking about? Napoleon “finished a little bit bad”? By the time the French Army pulled out of Russia under Napoleon, they had lost hundreds of thousands of soldiers.
That’s more than “a little bit bad.”
Also, what is Russia under some kind of divine protection in Trump’s eyes? “How many times has Russia been saved by the weather”? Is Trump not aware of the Russian state’s historical significant capacity to defend itself vested in its ability to sustain enormous losses in its military and yet keep fighting?
Also, Napoleon’s “one problem is he didn’t go to Russia”? What is he talking about? Napoleon did, in fact, accompany his army into Russia.
There are literally so many problems with Trump’s statements — but he wasn’t even finished. He went on to, as mentioned, address Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s failed military excursion into Russia during World War II.
Of this, Trump said:
‘Same thing happened to Hitler. Not for that reason, though. Hitler wanted to consolidate. He was all set to walk in. But he wanted to consolidate, and it went and dropped to 35 degrees below zero, and that was the end of that army.’
Um, no? Hitler wasn’t “all set to walk in.” He actually monumentally failed in his calculations of the effects of the Russian winter on his army. And what is he talking about when he says Hitler “wanted to consolidate”? Is that seriously how he’s describing Hitler’s intent to take over Russia? Is he seriously equivocating on Hitler — again?
How much longer will this fool be allowed to remain in office?
As MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough pointed out on Twitter, yet another lapse in the accuracy of Trump’s remarks comes when he says that after the temperature plummeted, “that was the end of that army.” Actually, there were many more months of fighting between the Germans and the Russians following the initial blizzard-driven failure of the Nazis’ initial invasion of the Soviet union, Operation Barbarossa.
Trump literally doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
Featured Image via Michael Reynolds – Pool/Getty Images