President Donald Trump is surrounded by fools.
There’s that fool William H. McRaven, Special Operations commander of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, and the other fools in the U.S. military, who should have brought down bin Laden “a lot sooner,” because “everybody in Pakistan” — all 208 million of them — knew the terrorist leader was living in “a nice mansion.” Trump alone “predicted Osama bin Laden” in 2000 when “nobody really knew who he was.” (Were they waiting for Trump to give them bin Laden’s ZIP code plus four?)
There are the fools in the CIA, who have concluded based on so-called evidence that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered last month’s killing of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi. But Trump alone understands that we’ll never know the truth, because the crown prince denied involvement “maybe five different times.”
There’s that fool Chris Wallace at Fox News, who didn’t understand why Trump skipped Arlington National Cemetery on the Monday after Veterans Day after skipping a visit to a U.S. military cemetery in France two days earlier. But Wallace, if he were wiser, would have known Trump was “extremely busy on calls for the country” as well as “doing other things.”
There are the foolish Finns who, after Trump claimed Finland avoided forest fires because “they spend a lot of time on raking,” are now mocking him by posing with garden tools in the woods.
Worst of all are the fools in California — people who insist on calling the fire-destroyed town there “Paradise” instead of “Pleasure,” as Trump prefers to call it — who assert that the fires were caused by drought instead of their own mismanagement. As Trump well knows, “there is no drought” in California and there is “plenty of water.”
No one has suffered as many fools as Trump has. But this is to be expected when a “very stable genius” leads a “stupid country.”
Trump knows “more about courts than any human being.” He knows “more about steelworkers than anybody.” He knows “more about ISIS than the generals do,” and “more about offense and defense than they will ever understand.” He knows “more about wedges than any human being that’s ever lived.” He even knows more about medicine than his doctor, dictating a doctor’s letter predicting he would be “the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”
How does Trump know so much about so many things? Explaining his disagreement with scientists on climate change, Trump told the Associated Press: “My uncle was a great professor at MIT for many years. Dr. John Trump. And I didn’t talk to him about this particular subject, but I have a natural instinct for science.”
Given Trump’s natural scientific instinct, you don’t need a B.S. from Trump University to know how frustrating it must be to be contradicted repeatedly by “experts” — some in his own administration!
The intelligence community unanimously believes that Russia meddled in the 2016 election, but Trump’s instinct says there’s no reason to disbelieve Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denials.
Satellite imagery shows that North Korea has enhanced its ability to launch missiles, but Trump says, “I don’t believe that.”
The scientific consensus supports the theory of climate change, but Trump says “it could very well go back” to cooling.
Trump’s instinct has led him to a number of scientific discoveries over time:
“The worst hurricanes were 50 years ago.”
Vaccines cause autism in “many” healthy children.
The flu shot is “totally ineffective.”
Exercise is unhealthy.
Coal is “indestructible.”
Windmills are a “killing field” for birds and can make people who live near turbines “go crazy after a couple of years.”
It’s OK to look directly at the sun during a solar eclipse.
California is “shoving” water out to sea “to protect a certain kind of three-inch fish.”
With such a high level of technical expertise, Trump waited 19 months into his presidency to name a White House science adviser. More than 1,000 members of the National Academy of Sciences accuse Trump of the “denigration of scientific expertise and harassment of scientists.”
But they don’t understand. Trump knows more about science than the scientists do.
And this is the problem with being surrounded by fools: Though Trump gives his presidency an “A-plus,” most Americans — about 60 percent — do not appreciate his brilliance.
He deserves better — and he should demand it. He should walk away, withdraw his excellence, maybe get a place in Pleasure — and leave us to suffer our own foolish “scientists” and “experts” and “facts.” That would really show us.
Dana Milbank is a columnist for The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter: @Milbank.