Dumbing Things Down for Trump’s Trip Abroad

Tomorrow Donald Trump leaves on a nine-day trip to five countries. As if what was happening in D.C. right now wasn’t embarrassing enough, his aides and hosts are having to literally dumb things down for the president.

Here’s the story about what his aides are doing:

To prepare for his trip, Trump has been meeting with briefers including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster, deputy national security adviser Dina Powell and senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Conversations with some officials who have briefed Trump and others who are aware of how he absorbs information portray a president with a short attention span.

He likes single-page memos and visual aids like maps, charts, graphs and photos.

National Security Council officials have strategically included Trump’s name in “as many paragraphs as we can because he keeps reading if he’s mentioned,” according to one source, who relayed conversations he had with NSC officials.

I don’t know what is worse, the prospect of Trump saying something supremely stupid because he is uninformed, or the kind of enabling of the president’s ego that requires putting his name in “as many paragraphs as we can.” That is how low things have gone with this incompetent fool in the White House.

Can it get any worse? Yes.

NATO is scrambling to tailor its upcoming meeting to avoid taxing President Donald Trump’s notoriously short attention span. The alliance is telling heads of state to limit talks to two to four minutes at a time during the discussion…

The fact that 27 other heads of state are having to cater to the man-child’s short attention span certainly isn’t an impeachable offense. But perhaps it should be.

Just in case that wasn’t enough to make your stomach turn, the same president who has constantly vilified Muslims will give a speech in Saudi Arabia on Islam. Let that one sink in for a moment. But as Ed Kilgore notes, it gets even worse.

It is reportedly being written by Senior Policy Adviser Stephen Miller, who has a record of Muslim-baiting as long as your arm. He is the close White House ally of former Breitbart executive Stephen Bannon and former Breitbart writer Julia Hahn, two people who appear to believe Muslim refugees are an existential threat to America.

That prompted this fill-in-the-blank question from Peter Beinart:

I’ll not share my response in the hope that you all will enlighten us with your thoughts in the comments.

President’s have typically depended on trips abroad to build up their stature here at home. If this administration has any hopes along those lines, they are as ill-informed and short-sighted as our president seems to be.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.