I wrote previously about how Presidential Counselor Kellyanne Conway violated federal ethics rules by hawking her boss’ daughter’s clothing line on national TV. She wasn’t flaunting the law, she was simply, and stunningly, ignorant.
On the same day, we learned her boss also showed his stunning ignorance and lack of preparedness for the job. On January 28th President Trump was on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin when Mr. Putin suggested extending the terms of the New START treaty. Mr. Trump then asked his aides what Mr. Putin was talking about. When it was explained to him, Mr. Trump told Mr. Putin that it was a bad deal for the United States.
A little background: START is an acronym for “STrategic Arms Reduction Treaty” and has been around since 1982 when negotiations began between U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. The treaty has gone through several revisions, and turned into “New START” in 2011.
Now I don’t expect most of us to know what START is, but I do expect our President to know. He’s now claiming that he knew what Mr. Putin was talking about and just needed some advice from his aides, but I don’t think anyone believes this. Mr. Trump famously brags about not reading much and after his election he declined most of the classified briefings he was offered. Given this, I don’t imagine he was reading about START and New START when they were in the news, and I don’t imagine he showed up when someone wanted to tell him about it.
Ignorance may have served him well when he ran for President, but it doesn’t serve any of us well when he leads our nation.