The president, it’s long been clear, regards himself as supremely intelligent. He said as much in a tweetstorm following the publication of an incendiary book by author Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury, which contained revelations that cast the president’s mental stability into question.
He wrote on Twitter:
‘Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart… I went from VERY successful businessman, to top T.V. Star to President of the United States (on my first try). I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius….and a very stable genius at that!’
On other occasions, Trump has insisted that when making important policy decisions, he consults — wait for it — himself.
Apparently, according to new reporting from The Washington Post, Trump wasn’t bluffing when he insisted that he has a massively egotistical self-perception.
According to the publication, Trump has opted out of actually reading the document prepared for the commander-in-chief on a daily basis that summarizes major points of U.S. intelligence on the goings-on of the world. Instead, according to the publication, he prefers to stick to getting just an oral briefing, something that concerned interests warn could leave him in the dark about important issues.
It’s not as though he’s seemed to be very competent about issues of foreign policy since taking office. Although there are new sanctions in force against the North Koreans, he was unable to keep the country from getting to the point of claiming to have nuclear capabilities.
In addition to this, he’s been very public in his dismissal of the legitimacy of the nation’s intelligence agencies. In the context of the intelligence community’s continued insistence that Russia really did meddle in our most recent presidential election, Trump dismissed the most recent set of intelligence leaders as “political hacks,” and he’s extended his criticism to more recent leaders in the intelligence community as well.
Trump has even personally criticized the volume of information he’s expected to take in.
Appearing on Fox in late 2016, the then-president-elect commented:
‘You know, I’m, like, a smart person. I don’t have to be told the same thing and the same words every single day for the next eight years. It could be eight years — but eight years. I don’t need that.’
Even still, at least one member of the Trump administration rushed to defend the commander-in-chief.
Current Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats commented that “any notion that President Trump is not fully engaged in the [written daily intelligence briefing materials] or does not read the briefing materials is pure fiction and is clearly not based on firsthand knowledge of the process.”
Making his defense of the president suspicious, Coats went on to resort to Trump-ian rhetoric, commenting that “President Trump engages for significantly longer periods than I understand many previous presidents have done” during briefings.
In the alleged absence of the president taking the time to read the daily briefing materials, copies are reportedly provided to officials including national security adviser H.R. McMaster, Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Trump declining to fulfill the responsibilities actually associated with his position as president is continuing to prove a detriment to the U.S., with security threats that he’s currently not addressing including the already mentioned crisis over North Korea and the issue over Russian meddling in our elections.
Featured Image via Alex Wong/Getty Images