How, like, stupid is this?
A new book raises questions about Donald Trump’s mental fitness. So he fires off an angry tweet storm that makes him sound mentally unfit. Then, he sends an unhinged person named Stephen Miller onto CNN to vouch for his “very stable genius.”
There’s a phrase for strategies like this one. The phrase is “not too bright.”
You already know the background here. Michael Wolff’s new book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” quotes an army of insiders, many by name, raising disturbing questions about the president’s 71-year-old brain. On page after page, Trump comes off as a volatile nitwit, a semi-literate child unable to focus on anything but his own whims and eruptions.
To calm the roiling waters, Trump’s lawyers did the worst possible thing: They threatened legal action, firing off cease-and-desist letters to silence Wolff and his on-the-record source Steve Bannon, Trump’s former campaign boss and chief White House political strategist who now runs Breitbart News.
As the book shot up the best-seller lists, and the legal thuggery was met with guffaws, Trump took to Twitter, his digital primal-scream room, declaring that he’s always been known for his “mental stability” and “being, like, really smart.” Typed the president: “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!”
Well, let’s see.
To prove it, he sent wild-eyed Stephen Miller, his chief policy advisor, onto CNN’s “State of the Union.”
There may be a less attractive man in Washington, physically or temperamentally. But no one’s been able to prove it. I’d like to quote some of what Miller said to Jake Tapper on Sunday. But other than calling Bannon “grotesque” — even a stopped clock is right twice a day — and repeatedly sputtering that Trump is a “political genius,” most of what Miller yelled was simply indecipherable.
I know. There is no one form of intelligence. People can be smart — or dumb — in a thousand different ways. But dumb isn’t smart, no matter how loudly you, like, yell it.
Metro columnist Ellis Henican is the best-selling author of a dozen books, including “TRUMPITUDE: The Secret Confessions of Donald’s Brain.” Join him on Twitter @henican.