REALITY-SHOW STAR PLAYS AN ELABORATE PRACTICAL JOKE ON POLITICAL WORLD…. About a month ago, Jon Chait pondered whether Donald Trump’s alleged interest in a presidential campaign is some kind of joke. Suggesting the burgeoning campaign from the reality-show star might be a “parody,” Jon asked, “Is Donald Trump putting us on?”

On “Good Morning America” earlier, we appear to have received an answer to that question.

Speaking about the president, Trump — in line with “birthers” who question the president’s citizenship — said he, too, had his doubts that Obama was born in the U.S.

“Everybody that even gives a hint of being a birther … even a little bit of a hint, like, gee, you know, maybe, just maybe this much of a chance, they label them as an idiot. Let me tell you, I’m a really smart guy,” he said.

He explained the source of his doubt: “He grew up and nobody knew him. You know? When you interview people, if ever I got the nomination, if I ever decide to run, you may go back and interview people from my kindergarten. They’ll remember me. Nobody ever comes forward. Nobody knows who he is until later in his life. It’s very strange. The whole thing is very strange,” he added.

He went on to criticize House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) for crying too much; boasted, “I’m very rich”; described the United States as “weak”; and said of U.S. policy towards Russia, “Give me an admiral and a couple of ships and [I’ll] wipe them out of the sea so fast. Think of it.”*

No one is quite this stupid unless they’re trying to be stupid.

In other words, “Is Donald Trump putting us on?” Yeah, I’m pretty sure he is.

* Correction: He was apparently referring to Somali pirates, not Russia, when talking about “wiping them out of the sea.” I misread the transcript from ABC and regret the error. Nevertheless, the larger point about Trump’s ridiculousness stands.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.