A his­tory of dumb­ness

The Washington Post - - POWER POST - Twit­ter: @Mil­bank DANA MIL­BANK

With all the doc­u­men­ta­tion of Rus­sian col­lu­sion pil­ing up, Pres­i­dent Trump’s best ex­cuse may be that his peo­ple were too in­com­pe­tent to or­ga­nize a con­spir­acy. Luck­ily for him, an in­no­cent-by-rea­son-of-stu­pid­ity de­fense has the virtue of be­ing plau­si­ble.

For ex­am­ple, there is clear and com­pelling ev­i­dence that Don­ald Trump Jr. is dumb as a post.

This week brings word that the Trump cam­paign was in di­rect con­tact with Wik­iLeaks, de­scribed by Trump’s own CIA di­rec­tor as “a non-state hos­tile in­tel­li­gence ser­vice of­ten abet­ted by state ac­tors like Rus­sia.” And who was the point of con­tact? D’oh! Don­ald Ju­nior — ask­ing pri­vately for in­for­ma­tion from Wik­iLeaks, which at one point sug­gested an ac­tion that the can­di­date took, in part, just min­utes later.

This fol­lows the dis­cov­ery in July that Ju­nior met with Rus­sians dur­ing the cam­paign. He first claimed the meet­ing con­cerned adop­tion, then ad­mit­ted it was to get dirt on Hil­lary Clin­ton, then said noth­ing was un­to­ward be­cause the in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by the Rus­sians “wasn’t help­ful.” This, as Jimmy Kim­mel pointed out, was like say­ing “I tried to rob the bank but I for­got they weren’t open on Sun­days.”

A tweet pinned to the top of Ju­nior’s Twit­ter page says, “Life is hard; it’s even harder when you’re stupid.” And Ju­nior should know. Some of his col­leagues on the Trump cam­paign mocked him as “Fredo,” the weak son in “The God­fa­ther.” Trump sur­ro­gate Chris Christie eu­phemisti­cally de­scribed Ju­nior as “by no means a so­phis­ti­cated po­lit­i­cal ac­tor.”

On Elec­tion Day in Vir­ginia last week, Ju­nior is­sued two tweets, hours apart, urg­ing peo­ple to vote — “to­mor­row,” the day af­ter the elec­tion. The pre­vi­ous week, Ju­nior tweeted that he would take away half his daugh­ter’s Hal­loween candy be­cause “it’s never to [sic] early to teach her about so­cial­ism.” (He seemed not to grasp that trick-or-treat­ing in­volves hand­outs.) This was Ju­nior’s sec­ond candy-re­lated mishap; he pre­vi­ously shared a tweet liken­ing Syr­ian refugees to a bowl of Skit­tles, ask­ing if “I told you just three would kill you, would you take a hand­ful?”

This week, as CNN’s Andrew Kaczyn­ski no­ticed, irony eluded Ju­nior when he “liked” a tweet dis­cred­it­ing one of Roy Moore’s ac­cusers — be­cause she “has had three di­vorces” and “filed for bank­ruptcy three times.” Ju­nior also posted on In­sta­gram a video of him­self lift­ing weights; the web­site Life­hacker said he made “five out of the seven com­mon be­gin­ner dead­lift mis­takes” and had “a solid chance of her­ni­at­ing a disc.”

The 39-year-old Trump once tried to make it on his own, but af­ter a cou­ple of his ven­tures fiz­zled, he signed on with Dad, whom Ju­nior has been “help­ing” ever since. Such as in Septem­ber 2016, when he posted an im­age fea­tur­ing Pepe the Frog, a white-su­prem­a­cist em­blem. Ju­nior pleaded ig­no­rance: “I thought it was a frog in a wig.”

A num­ber of Ju­nior’s tweets over the years call peo­ple “mo­rons” and “id­iots” for their “un­in­tel­li­gi­ble gram­mar” and poor spelling. Un­for­tu­nately, he rou­tinely makes the same er­rors him­self, some­times in the tweets la­bel­ing oth­ers mo­rons. When called on this, he ex­plains, “I just let spelling and gram­mar go” or “spelling has never been a strong point.”

What has been his strong point? Tweet­ing a se­ries of photos of arteryclog­ging foods with the la­bel “this is why I’m fat.” Speak­ing up for the “moral teach­ing of the Bi­ble” even though he pre­vi­ously boasted that he had some sex­ual “hookups I don’t re­mem­ber.” Telling the pub­lic that “if ur a boob guy this whole lac­ta­tion thing is amaz­ing the sports bra the wife is wear­ing is los­ing the con­tain­ment bat­tle!!!”

His Twit­ter feed skews Low Play­ground, with vul­gar words, jokes about bes­tial­ity and sex­ual as­sault and a quip about pre­tend­ing to be gay so he can put his hands up women’s skirts. When he ven­tures into big-boy top­ics, he gets in big trouble. On Twit­ter and in an in­ter­view at the time of for­mer FBI di­rec­tor James B. Comey’s tes­ti­mony, he in­ad­ver­tently con­firmed one of Comey’s main points. In a cam­paign in­ter­view, Ju­nior spoke of re­porters “warm­ing up the gas cham­ber” for Repub­li­cans.

In 2011, he tweeted about Rep. Frederica S. Wil­son (D-Fla.) wear­ing a cow­boy hat but con­fused her for an­other black woman, Rep. Max­ine Waters (D-Calif.), which he spelled “Wat­ters.” He wrote: “Easier 2 take u se­ri­ously when u dont [sic] look like a strip­per.”

And some­times the mis­fires are lit­eral. Af­ter sa­fari photos emerged of him in 2012 hold­ing a knife and the tail of a dead ele­phant, Ju­nior ex­plained, “I HUNT & EAT game.” This year, he ob­served Earth Day by shoot­ing prairie dogs, which are not widely con­sumed.

In Septem­ber, Ju­nior raised a ruckus when he said he didn’t want Se­cret Ser­vice pro­tec­tion. Se­cu­rity ex­perts warned against this, and his pro­tec­tion has since been re­stored, but maybe Ju­nior was safe all along. Those who want to harm Amer­ica might con­clude that they would do more dam­age leav­ing Ju­nior right where he is.


Don­ald Trump Jr. ar­rives at Trump Tower in New York last year.

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