At a G7 breakfast meeting, Donald Trump appeared to show a moment of reflection and introspection with regard to his trade policy.
Wait, that can’t be right. Roll tape.
REPORTER: Any second thoughts on escalating the trade war with China?
TRUMP: Yeah, sure. Why not?
REPORTER: Second thoughts? Yes?
TRUMP: Might as well. Might as well.
REPORTER: You have second thoughts about escalating the trade war with China?
TRUMP: I have second thoughts about everything.
Okay, first of all, he looks pretty punchy here. He might be jet-lagged, but I don’t think you’d get this kind of effect unless you’d flown to Europe stowed away in the plane’s wheel well.
So knowing what we know about Donald Trump (i.e., he never has second thoughts, or first thoughts, about anything) and applying Occam’s razor, the most likely explanation is he doesn’t know what “second thoughts” means.
I mean, every sane, reasonably educated adult understands what “second thoughts” refers to, but this is Trump. He doesn’t know much of anything, honestly. Hey, his daughter doesn’t know how to use the word “otherwise,” and she’s presumably smarter than he is.
And once again, his aides were forced to spin his nonsense into English and blame his brain farts on the dog.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham later issued a statement seeking to clarify Trump’s comments and suggesting the only thing he regrets is not placing higher tariffs on Chinese goods.
“This morning in the (meeting) with the UK, the president was asked if he had ‘any second thought on escalating the trade war with China,'” Grisham said in a statement. “His answer has been greatly misinterpreted. President Trump responded in the affirmative — because he regrets not raising the tariffs higher.”
“Well, look, if I can reinterpret that,” [White House economic adviser Larry] Kudlow noted, “I mean, he spoke to us, he didn’t exactly hear the question. Actually, what he was intending to say, he always has second thoughts and actually had second thoughts about possibly a higher tariff response to China.”
He added: “So it was not to remove the tariff. He was thinking about a higher tariff response. Having said that, we’re staying with the policy that was announced on Friday, I believe, a five percent increase on the two tariffs.”
Looking for clarification, [CNN’s Brianna] Keilar asked Kudlow if Trump was saying that he may want to further increase tariffs on China, but wasn’t currently going to do so. Kudlow agreed that was the case.
So in their attempt to pretend Trump isn’t a crazy old man with a third-grader’s grasp of reality, his aides might blunder us into an even worse trade war?
Good government at work, folks.
I don’t know about you, but I look forward to the day when I don’t wake up to at least three insane things the president of the United States has done or said overnight.