New details emerging on Monday showcase just how ignorant President Donald Trump is on a myriad of issues relating to foreign policy, including apparently needing to be reminded several times on the intricacies of time zone differences.
Trump, for example, had requested several times that his aides set up a phone call on the spot in the middle of the afternoon to Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Those aides had to remind Trump on “a constant basis,” according to a source speaking to Politico, that Abe would be asleep since it was the middle of the night in Japan.
“He wasn’t great with recognizing that the leader of a country might be 80 or 85 years old and isn’t going to be awake or in the right place at 10:30 or 11 p.m. their time,” a former National Security Council official said.
Trump’s decision-making doesn't include thinking these types of things out.
“When he wants to call someone, he wants to call someone,” an anonymous source close to Trump explained. “He’s more impulsive that way. He doesn’t think about what time it is or who it is.”
It’s one thing to be reminded of time differences once in awhile, but to be repeatedly explained to like a child that he couldn’t just call up his contemporary on a whim like this makes Trump seem less like an intelligent world leader and more like a child in need of a babysitter.
More problems, previously kept quiet until now, apparently abound, including the fact that Trump was unaware that nations like Nepal and Bhutan even existed.
“He didn’t know what those were,” one source said. “He thought it was all part of India. He was like, ‘What is this stuff in between and these other countries?’"
In the same briefing, in which Trump was trying to prepare for a meeting with India Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the president also mispronounced Nepal as “nipple,” and jokingly called Bhutan “button.” Upon learning that Modi was estranged from his wife, a sensitive issue for the prime minister, Trump quipped, “I think I can set him up with somebody.”
Trump’s misbehavior during meetings like these have been documented before. In the past, it was reported that the president also openly mocked Modi's accent, demonstrating not only his ignorance of the region but also his blatant racist attitude toward non-white individuals, including world leaders.
White House officials and other defenders of Trump insist that he is well-aware of how time zones work and that his ignorance on foreign affairs is simply another means of getting the job done.
“I don’t think he sees those as faux pas; I think he sees them as, ‘Look, I do things differently,’” Heritage Foundation’s James Carafano explained.
But let’s not kid ourselves here; having a basic understanding about world affairs comes in handy, especially when you’re the president of the United States. Trump’s gaffes have the potential to greatly wound our nation’s standing, and they embarrassingly make America look foolish on the world stage.
Banner/thumbnail image credit: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters