14 Times Donald Trump Made George W. Bush Look Like a Genius (and 1 Time It Didn’t Work)

If you’ve been following the news lately, you know President Donald Trump is his own biggest fan. He routinely defends his intelligence, while his actions contradict his assertions. Remember when previous presidents’ minor gaffes looked a little thick? In reality, Trump made George W. Bush look like a genius in a lot of scenarios. Try not to cringe too hard at these times Trump really stepped in it. Don’t miss one the time we just have to give him credit.

1. He’s like, really smart (according to himself)

Donald Trump's tweet
He bragged about his “mental stability” on Twitter. | Donald Trump via Twitter

Trump brags about his own mental acuity on the regular. While Bush put his foot in his mouth pretty frequently, he did not usually defend himself as blatantly as Trump does. In January, Trump tweeted, “My two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart.” Later, he pointed out winning the presidency on his first try proved his “genius,” calling himself, “not smart, but genius …. and a very stable genius at that!”

Next: In case you forgot, Trump had his own TV show once.

2. He’s obsessed with his own resume

During a campaign rally Trump reads a statement made by Michelle Fields
He wants everyone to know about his successes. | Scott Olson/Getty Images

Trump defended his intelligence using his past accomplishments as proof. “I had a situation where I was a very excellent student,” he said. “Came out and made billions and billions of dollars. Became one of the top business people. Went to television and, for 10 years, was a tremendous success, as you probably have heard. Ran for president one time and won.” We know, Donald. Trust us. We know.

Next: Today would be a good day to release your tax returns, Mr. President.

3. Not paying federal taxes makes him ‘smart’

trump with a frowning face
He is secretive about his tax returns. | Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images

Presidents have pretty much always released their tax returns, to show their financial stability. Trump, so far, has not. The topic came up again during his first presidential debate with Hillary Clinton. She suggested his reticence meant they’d show “he’s paid nothing in federal taxes.” Trump did not exactly deny it. “That makes me smart,” he said in return.

Next: Trump also displayed startling hypocrisy in the following scenario.

4. Trump did the exact thing he criticized Obama for proposing

Barack obama pointing at his own face in a dark suit and blue striped tie
Donald Trump said it would be a mistake if Barack Obama ordered a strike without congressional approval. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In 2013, Trump tweeted that bombing the Assad regime for its apparent chemical-weapons attack would be “bad.” He acknowledged that if then-president Barack Obama did order it, Trump considered it a “big mistake” not to get congressional approval first. Obama did not order the strike, after all. In April 2017, Trump himself ordered a strike against Syria without congressional approval.

It’s hard to say whether Trump forgot what he said about Obama, or thought his own rules did not apply to himself. Either way, at least Bush’s blunders displayed a certain consistency.

Next: He does not understand why the Civil War happened.

5. Why could we not work that one out?

7th President Andrew Jackson
He said if Andrew Jackson had been around the Civil War might not have happened. | Wikimedia Commons

“Why could that one not have been worked out?” he asked, of the Civil War. Trump asserted that, if Andrew Jackson had been around, the Civil War might never have happened. He added, “He was a very tough person but he had a big heart, and he was really angry that he saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War. He said there’s no reason for this.” Jackson, a pro-slavery imperialist, probably would not have held the position Trump thinks he would.

Next: He also forgot the significance of this African American hero.

6. Trump kicked off Black History Month with a famous gaffe


American orator, editor, author, abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass
He might have thought Frederick Douglass was still alive. | Hulton Archive/Getty Images

To celebrate Black History Month this past February, Trump name-dropped Frederick Douglass, while implying the hero did not die decades ago. “Frederick Doug — Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I notice,” he said. Next, will he invite Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to dinner at the White House?

Next: The president seems to believe Korea admires Colonial architecture.

7. He thinks Koreans believe Colonial buildings are futuristic

Seoul, South Korea, skyline
Korean architecture receives worldwide recognition. | Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

When Trump tried to talk about the history of the Korean Peninsula, he quickly let his ignorance show. “They have an 8,000 year culture. So when they see 1776 — to them, that’s like a modern building. The White House was started — was essentially built in 1799. To us, that’s really old. To them, that’s like a super modern building, right?” In reality, Korean modern architecture earns worldwide recognition — including the building with Trump’s name on it.

Next: He should really have thought before he spoke on this next one.

8. Remember that time the president sided with racists?

Violence erupts at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville
Critics slammed his response to the violence in Charlottesville. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Trump’s assessment of what occurred in Charlottesville in August 2017 may have shown his worst side. He said of the White Supremacy demonstration that turned violent, “I think there’s blame on both sides,” Trump said, which earned him praise from those same hate groups.To this day, he has not distanced himself from the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke, or the movement as a whole. At best, it shows his image ignorance. At worst, he sympathizes with racists.

Next: The president also made this amazing error in judgement.

9. The entire James Comey affair looks bad for Trump

James Comey testifying in a dark suit and a red tie
He asked for James Comey’s loyalty — and then fired him. | Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Most presidents have the presence of mind not to interfere with the intelligence community, especially when investigations lead back to their own indiscretions. Not Trump. He fired FBI director Comey after directly asking for his loyalty, and then admitted it had to do with investigations into Russian collusion. “When I decided to just do it, I said to myself, ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story,” Trump told NBC News’ Lester Holt, arguably, confessing to obstruction of justice.

Next: He clearly did not think the next move through.

10. Trump dropped out of the Paris accord but did not have to

Donald Trump listens intently.
He alienated allies. | Alex Wong/Getty Images

Lots of easier ways exist to reverse the Environmental Protection Agency’s work on climate change, but Trump chose to alienate the reset of the world in the process. By dropping out of the Paris climate accords, Trump basically sabotaged his ability to advocate for Big Oil at that table. Instead, he chose to alienate European allies by withdrawing entirely, showing he really did not understand how the accord worked.

Next: The president also shared sensitive information with this shocking person.

11. He told the Kremlin about classified data

Morning over the Moscow Kremlin in the sun
He revealed classified information to the Kremlin. | iStock.com/yulenochekk

The president decided to tell the Kremlin highly classified information about ISIS that Israel provided to the U.S. One of the conditions of that information included that Trump not share it without permission. Israel did not take kindly to that, especially since the level of detail Trump provided could oust Israel’s sources and methods. His disclosure also alarmed U.S. intelligence officials, since his violation of Israel’s trust could jeopardize intelligence-sharing agreements in the future.

Next: The president also implicitly sided with this murderous world leader.

12. Trump tacitly condoned a mass murder

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte speaks
He congratulated the Philippines president, who is a self-professed murderer. | Jeoffrey Maitem/Getty Images

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is a self-professed murderer, whose regime has exterminated alleged drug dealers with vigilante groups and police brutality. Trump, instead of decrying these practices, invited Duerte to the White House and praised his mass murder efforts.

“I just wanted to congratulate you because I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem,” Trump told Duterte. “Many countries have the problem, we have a problem, but what a great job you are doing and I just wanted to call and tell you that.”

Next: The following math error reveals the administration’s lack of math prowess.

13. His tax plan shows math is hard

liberty tax sign waver
His budget proposal made a lot of assumptions. | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

When Trump’s budget proposal came out, it made a lot of fiscal assumptions. For example, it assumes that his insane supply-side tax cut will pay for itself, by generating $2 trillion in growth-induced revenue gains. It also rests on the assumption that the estate tax will generate $328 billion in revenue over the next decade, even though the White House’s official tax plan abolishes that revenue stream.

But even if those worked out, the Trump budget still comes $2 trillion shy of balancing. White House budget director Mick Mulvaney later tried to justified this apparent error by saying, “I wouldn’t take what’s in the budget as indicative of what our proposals are.” Like many Trump statements, the budget made more sense if you chose not to read it.

Next: The president chose an astoundingly bad time to praise this executive.

14. During National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, he defended an assaulter

Bill O'Reilly in a dark suit looking thoughtful, surrounded by people
He defended Bill O’Reilly. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Bill O’Reilly and Fox News paid out $13 million settling sexual-harassment claims against the host, but that did not deter Trump from defending his buddy Bill. Instead, the president expressed his disappointment in O’Reilly for settling. “[O’Reilly] is a good person,” Trump told the New York Times. “I think he shouldn’t have settled … I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.”

Next: We have to hand it to him though, he did accomplish this one thing.

15. Trump totally revolutionized the office of the president

White House in Washington D C From front lawn view
His tweets have changed the office. | hanusst/iStock/Getty Images

Whether you love or hate reading Trump’s tweets, we can’t deny he has totally changed the way the public interacts with the president. With 45.4 million Twitter followers (and rising), he has the American public’s ear — even more so than the media. It has required the press and the people in general to learn a new way of doing business, and that’s no small feat.

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