President Donald Trump is a lifelong one-trick pony who is glaringly out-of-his depth, say former colleagues and supporters in a Washington Post column published Saturday night by Marc Fisher.
Trump freely and openly calls himself a “genius,” as he did last week in his now-notorious “very stable genius” tweet and Fisher said that while Trump has keen instincts, they mostly revolve around his satisfying his constant, voracious need for attention.
The accusation squares with the needy man-child portrayed in Michael Wolff’s bombshell book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House and the man described by The Art of The Deal ghostwriter Tony Schwartz as “a living black hole.”
“In Trump’s vocabulary, ‘genius’ is perhaps the highest praise, and it refers to a street-level ability to get things done. Trump often referred to his lawyer and early mentor Roy Cohn as ‘a total genius’ or a ‘political genius,’ even if he was also ‘a lousy lawyer,’” wrote Fisher. “Trump explained in one of his books that his own true ‘genius’ was for public relations: Rather than spending money on advertising, he said, he put his efforts toward winning news coverage of himself as a ‘genius.’”
The idea of being a Midas-fingered “genius” is absolutely central to Trump’s notion of himself, former executives told Fisher. “Everyone around him learned to cater to that — even his father, who trained Trump to follow in his footsteps as a developer.”
“He never meant ‘book genius’ when he said it,” journalist Tony Benza told the Post. “He means, okay, he didn’t hit the brains lottery, but he’s brilliant and cunning in the way he operates. He’s amazing at taking the temperature of the room and knowing how to appease everyone.”
Fisher wrote that the relentless force driving Trump’s tweets is his “lifelong conviction that he wins when he’s the center of attention” and his belief that he has a special kind of knowledge that enables him to see things that ordinary people cannot.