From The Week — Written by Paul Waldman — Image courtesy of REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
There are certain moments in politics that, when they occur, one immediately says, “Oh, we’re going to remember that one.”
One such moment occurred Monday, as President Trump addressed reporters alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a moment that raised once again a profound question: How much of a problem is it that the president of the United States, the most powerful person on Earth, is a blithering idiot?
Here’s what happened. During a chaotic moment with many people speaking at once, a reporter asked a question about Trump’s passing on highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador during an unusual Oval Office meeting.
Though rumors swirled about the identity of the U.S. ally, with many pointing to Israel, government sources wouldn’t confirm it — until Trump hushed the assembled reporters and said, “Just so you understand, I never mentioned the word or the name ‘Israel.’ Never mentioned it during that conversation.” Meanwhile, Netanyahu worked hard to keep a friendly smile on his face. “They were all saying I did,” Trump went on (meaning the journalists), “So you had another story wrong. Never mentioned the word Israel.” So in trying to tamp down the story that he revealed sensitive information to the Russians, Trump enthusiastically confirmed to the entire world that Israel was indeed the U.S. ally who had supplied the intelligence information. Nice work, Einstein.