Donald Trump Is A Winner At Tarnishing Our Relationship With Our Closest Ally
On Tuesday, a lengthy profile on the soon-to-be-official GOP nominee Donald Trump ran in The Hollywood Reporter. Most of it centers on Trump's charisma and, apparently, unflappable self-confidence. However, one of the more arresting passages comes toward the end, when journalist Michael Wolff asks the reality TV star to enlighten us with his thoughts on the Brexit. This is a short conversation, because Trump does not appear to know — or did not know, I guess — what the Brexit is.
The Hollywood Reporter interview dovetails nicely/sadly with Trump's way of merging his isolationism with his ignorance. Consider this telling excerpt:
"And Brexit? Your position?" I ask.
"The Brits leaving the EU," I prompt, realizing that his lack of familiarity with one of the most pressing issues in Europe is for him no concern nor liability at all.
"Oh yeah, I think they should leave."
It's okay to be confused by this instance of Trump not knowing what "Brexit" means, since that hasn't stopped him from saying he supports it in the past.
"I would say [the British] are better off without [the EU], personally," he told Fox News in early May. "But I'm not making that as a recommendation, just my feeling."
So, Trump doesn't know what the Brexit it, but he does know he supports it. This is pretty normal Trump behavior (he's recently panned the GQ interview of wife Melania Trump while admitting he hadn't read it).
Or maybe he just kind of supports it; here he is claiming later in May, "I have no preference. I have big investments in Britain, but I have no preference."
You be the judge, I guess.
It's not exactly shocking that Trump isn't terribly clued in on the Brexit, but it's striking to me how he has a way of really stepping in it when it comes to interactions with one of our very closest allies.
It was only a few weeks ago that Trump made headlines, as Trump tends to do, for saying that he could make an "exception" to his Muslim ban for Sadiq Khan, the recently elected first-ever Muslim mayor of London. It was Khan's own remark about needing to visit the United States in the next few months, before Trump takes the helm and the country becomes a no-Muslims-allowed club — "Clearly [I'll visit] before January in case Donald Trump wins," he told TIME — that prompted Trump's comments about "exceptions." Khan, of Pakistani heritage, replaced Brexit enthusiast Boris Johnson at the beginning of May. Khan would seem to be a better and more patient person than the rest of us, having said he'd welcome the chance to "educate" Trump about Muslims, and how the religion isn't mutually exclusive with Western culture.
While Khan is educating Trump about Muslims, perhaps he could fill him in on the Brexit, as well.
Image: Bustle/Allison Gore