Saturday, June 15, 2024


Breaking news: Donald Trump is not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
Former President Donald Trump failed to impress everyone in a room full of top CEOs Thursday at the Business Roundtable’s quarterly meeting, multiple attendees told CNBC.

“Trump doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” said one CEO who was in the room, according to a person who heard the executive speaking. The CEO also said Trump did not explain how he planned to accomplish any of his policy proposals, that person said.

Several CEOs “said that [Trump] was remarkably meandering, could not keep a straight thought [and] was all over the map,” CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin reported Friday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

... “At one point, he discussed his plan to bring the corporate tax rate down from 21% to 20% ... and was asked about why he had chosen 20%,” Sorkin said Friday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “And he said, ‘Well, it’s a round number.’”
I'm happy that this is being reported, but, um ... have these CEOs been living in caves? Trump has been like this for years.

"Meandering"? That's nothing new for Trump. A Canadian reporter called his 2015 Trump Tower campaign kickoff announcement "an epic, meandering, bizarre speech." Chris Cillizza used to publish pieces at CNN with headlines like "The 45 Most Incoherent Lines from Donald Trump’s Rambling Rose Garden Speech." And here's an account of Trump "meandering" remarks at a 2019 White House social media summit:
Rambling from one topic to the next, Trump ... discussed the stock markets, the census, his pardon of Scooter Libby, his hair, and hit on a number of other issues....

The President, who described himself as “technologically OK,” spent an inordinate amount of time suggesting – without evidence – that there was a conspiracy to keep his following count and engagement low on Twitter.

“I used to watch it,” Trump told attendees, referring to his followers. “It’d be like a rocket ship when I put out a beauty.”

Trump, then added, “When I put out something, a good one that people like, right? A good tweet. It goes up. It used to go up, it would say: 7,000, 7,008, 7,017, 7,024, 7,032, 7,044. Right? Now it goes: 7,000, 7,008, 6,998. Then they go: 7,009, 6,074. I said, what’s going on? It never did that before. It goes up, and then they take it down. Then it goes up. I never had it. Does anyone know what I’m talking about with this?”

It was not clear if the President was talking about his follower count or his retweet count.
And when it comes to governing, has Trump ever known what he was talking about? Even before he was sworn into office in 2017, Vox reported that Trump "seems to be stunningly ignorant about what a president actually does." Vox cited a Wall Street Journal that reported on Trump's cluelessness:
In the meeting with Obama, the Journal reports, Trump seemed surprised by how much the president has to do: “Mr. Obama walked his successor through the duties of running the country, and Mr. Trump seemed surprised by the scope.”

... Nor did Trump realize he had to hire a staff. The Wall Street Journal wrote that Trump aides “were … as unaware that the entire presidential staff working in the West Wing had to be replaced at the end of Mr. Obama’s term.”
Obnce he'd been president for a few months, U.S. News wrote of his "jaw-dropping obliviousness." As he approaches a possible second term, he has vague ideas about how to get revenge on his enemies and absolution from the legal system, and his advisers have detailed plans for remaking the federal government, but he still doesn't know how anything in government really works.

And he's always been fond of tossing out any number he thinks will sound good, especially if it's "round." In 2018, when it was reported that Trump's Commerce Department wanted a 24 percent maximum tariff on imported steel, Jonathan Swan, then at Axios, wrote:
I’m told that’s accurate, but with one small tweak: Sources tell me the president has told confidants he actually wants a *25* percent global tariff on steel because it's a round number and sounds better.
And this past February, The New York Times reported that Trump was taking a similar approach to reproductive rights:
One thing Mr. Trump likes about a 16-week federal ban on abortions is that it’s a round number. “Know what I like about 16?” Mr. Trump told one of these people, who was given anonymity to describe a private conversation. “It’s even. It’s four months.”
If CEOs who planned to support Trump are having second thoughts, that's great (though I bet they'll give him money anyway). But if they're surprised by his ignorance and lack of focus, all I can say is: Where have you been all these years?

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