Welcome to POTUS Said What?!, a weekly roundup of Trump’s most asinine and ineloquent sound bytes and our effort to understand WTF he’s even talking about.
This week, we tackle Trump’s obsession with pretending he has an IQ, his intention to leave poor people without healthcare, and more.
WTF? In today’s edition of Trump Just Can’t Let Things Go, Trump told Forbes that he could beat Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in an IQ test. The line comes one week after NBC reported that Tillerson called Trump a “moron” this summer and almost quit the administration. Not only do we think Trump’s assertion is #FakeNews, but just so POTUS knows, researchers believe IQ tests are an incredibly unreliable way to measure a person’s intelligence.
That said, the fact that Trump literally needs to be babysat by his administration, makes up words, and can’t seem to ever shut up when he needs to tells us a lot about his intelligence. Consider that a better measure than any IQ test.
WTF? You heard that right: Despite the fact that the vast majority of people in the territory don’t have power three weeks after Hurricane Maria and many don’t have water, Trump blamed Puerto Rico for its troubles after the hurricane and hinted that FEMA would be pulling out of the island sooner rather than later. And here’s a fact that’ll shock no one: In contrast, Trump (supposedly) donated $1 million of his own money to the victims of Harvey and told them that the government would be there today, tomorrow, and “every single day after” to help.
Additionally, Trump had a very different tone compared to Puerto Rico when talking about the wildfires that are currently devastating northern California. “I spoke with Governor Brown last night to know that the federal government will stand with people of California and be there with you in this time of terrible tragedy and need.”
We’ll see how long this California love from Trump lasts, however, especially considering that Hillary Clinton won the state by a long shot (and we know how much Trump cares about discussing that damn election) and that the liberal stalwart has been doing things like declaring itself a sanctuary state.
WTF? We call this the legislative equivalent of a temper tantrum. The Republicans in Congress (with plenty of help from Trump) were unable to pass an Obamacare repeal and replace plan despite only needing 50 votes in the Senate, so the president decided to try and do it on his own by signing an executive order to give his administration permission to create its own healthcare policies. One of the first matters of business? Getting rid of subsidies the government pays to help low-income people afford care.
Critics point out the obvious: Axing these subsidies means younger, healthier Americans who don’t need much insurance coverage to begin with will have lower costs, while people who need care the most will see their premiums driven up.
So no, Trump, there won't be “negotiating, negotiating, negotiating.” There will be death, death, death for people who truly need affordable healthcare. But nice try.
WTF? Trump uttered these words in a press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau when they were discussing updating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which allows the U.S., Mexico, and Canada to ship products to one another without taxes, amongst other things.
In true Trump fashion, the president pretended that a 23-year trade deal between three nations could easily be shredded and replaced overnight and would have no bearing on the economic stability of his country or the two other countries in that agreement.
And in true Trump administration fashion, no sooner had the words come out of his mouth than Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, immediately did damage control and lessened the blow of Trump’s NAFTA death sentence — or at least, we think that’s what he was trying to do here: “We don't hope it will, we don't desire that it will, we don't believe that it will, but it is at least a conceptual possibility as we go forward.” Awkward.
Lily Herman is a contributing editor at Refinery29. Her work has been featured in Teen Vogue, Glamour, Allure, TIME, Newsweek, Fast Company, and Mashable. Follow her on Twitter. The views expressed are her own.