the national interest

President Trump Still Way Too Lazy to Do His Job

Nobody told Donald Trump the job would involve foreign travel or boring meetings. Photo: Olivier Douliery/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Donald Trump possessed less relevant experience and subject expertise for the job of president than any person ever elected to the job. Those deficits can be offset, to a degree, with dogged study and hard work. But rather than make up for his historical lack of qualifications, Trump has compounded the problem with historical laziness. He famously lounges in front of the television having “Executive Time” until 11 a.m., checks out early, refuses to read briefings, and otherwise disdains the most important parts of his job.

Three new reports highlight the laziness problem. First, Trump is acting cranky and resentful in anticipation of his journey to faraway Canada. “President Trump is planning to fly to Canada on Friday. He is not exactly happy about it,” reports the Washington Post. “Trump is a homebody president, preferring to sleep in the White House — or at one of his signature properties — than in hotels, so he is generally reluctant to take long journeys. Furthermore, he prefers visiting places where he is feted — such as on his trips last year to Beijing, Paris and the Saudi capital — over attending summits where the attending leaders are treated as equals.”

Apparently nobody informed Trump that the job involves foreign travel. He also has little patience with domestic functions. The Post obtained audio of his meeting with FEMA to discuss preparedness for hurricane season. You might think Trump would grasp the importance of the issue given that thousands of Americans died on his watch in the wake of a bungled hurricane response in Puerto Rico. You would be wrong. Trump was totally unable to concentrate on the task at hand.

Despite the fact he was at FEMA, and supposed to be planning for disasters, “President Trump had a lot else on his mind, turning the closed-door discussion into soliloquies on his prowess in negotiating airplane deals, his popularity, the effectiveness of his political endorsements, the Republican Party’s fortunes, the vagaries of Defense Department purchasing guidelines, his dislike of magnetized launch equipment on aircraft carriers, his unending love of coal and his breezy optimism about his planned Singapore summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.”

There is a certain irony in using a meeting to deal with the natural disasters that are amplified by climate change to ignore the disasters and praise the virtues of coal.

Perhaps most frightening of all, in the lead-up to a summit with North Korea, an erratic nuclear state, Trump’s national security apparatus does not seem to be functioning. “National Security Adviser John Bolton has yet to convene a Cabinet-level meeting to discuss President Donald Trump’s upcoming summit with North Korea next week, a striking break from past practice that suggests the Trump White House is largely improvising its approach to the unprecedented nuclear talks,” reports Politico.

In addition, “Trump has also not presided personally over a meeting of those senior NSC officials, as a president typically does when making the most important decisions.” So Trump is planning to go into a meeting in which millions of lives might hang in the balance, and negotiate issues he barely understands, and his plan is basically to wing it because the Fox News lineup has too much good stuff to miss.

Update: Asked if he’s prepared for the North Korea summit, Trump assured a reporter that he is. He then explained that he believes little preparation is required for something like negotiating nuclear disarmament with an erratic, delusional, hermetic dictator. “I think I’m very well prepared,” Trump said, “I don’t think I have to prepare very much. It’s about attitude. It’s about willingness to get things done.”

President Trump Still Way Too Lazy to Do His Job