the national interest

Trump Fears Sharks Because He’ll Believe Anything TV Tells Him

We’re gonna need a bigger tax cut. Photo: Getty Images

In Touch has published a 2011 interview with adult entertainer Stormy Daniels, who provides a lengthy account of her affair with Donald Trump. Daniels has a clear recollection of numerous details, some of which were not widely known in 2011 (such as the names of Trump’s secretary and bodyguard, and the manner in which they handled his communications). The interview contains nothing shocking, unless you would be shocked to learn that Trump does not take his marital commitments very seriously. The most fun point by far is that Trump loves to watch shark documentaries, and his main takeaway from them is that sharks are evil and should all die:

You could see the television from the little dining room table and he was watching Shark Week and he was watching a special about the U.S.S. something and it sank and it was like the worst shark attack in history. He is obsessed with sharks. Terrified of sharks. He was like, “I donate to all these charities and I would never donate to any charity that helps sharks. I hope all the sharks die.” He was like riveted. He was like obsessed. It’s so strange, I know.

This is another credibility-enhancing detail. The interview is from 2011, and Trump did not tweet about his shark obsession until two years later:

It is perfectly characteristic of Trump’s mind that he would be manipulated by television this way. Sharks are not, in fact, a significant source of danger. Sharks kill about one American per year.

But sharks do look very scary, and the right combination of dramatic video and ominous music could persuade a gullible television viewer to fear and even hate them. Like, say, the kind of person who spends hours watching Fox News and is manipulated into hating and fearing immigrants or Muslims or the New Black Panther Party.

Trump Fears Sharks Because He Believes Anything TV Tells Him