My favorite moment in President Donald Trump’s trip to France came when our president was doing a little riff about North Korea and Kim Jong Un. Not only had he come to know Kim well, Trump told reporters, “the first lady has gotten to know Kim Jong Un, and I think she’d agree with me, he is a man with a country that has tremendous potential.”

Melania Trump has never met Kim Jong Un. Paging the cleanup crew.

“President Trump confides in his wife on many issues including the detailed elements of his strong relationship with Chairman Kim,” his press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, explained. “And while the first lady hasn’t met him, the president feels like she’s gotten to know him too.”

Definitely the most creative explanation of the week for Stuff Trump Makes Up. Second prize may also go to Grisham, who tried to clear up her boss’s wildly meandering positions on China trade.

After going back-and-forth several times, the president was asked if he was having second thoughts (or third, or 18th …) about the tariff war. He replied, “I have second thoughts about everything.”

Apparently not the message the White House was hoping to send.


“The president responded in the affirmative — because he regrets not raising the tariffs higher,” Grisham said. Desperate, but pretty darned good. So much better than what Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin came up with: “He has no second thoughts, no second thoughts.”

Trump’s long-and-kind-of-scary news conferences were just about the only news coming out of the meeting of major industrialized countries known as the Group of 7. Any attempt to come up with a united stand on climate change, Iran, trade, etc., was torpedoed by American intransigence. At the end there was just a pathetic one-page statement and an agreement to raise $22 million to help battle the Amazon rainforest fires.

Which the president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, turned down imperiously. Before he appeared to be changing course. “Did I say that? Did I? Did Jair Bolsonaro speak?” he demanded of reporters. Guess how Trump and Bolsonaro get along. Great pals? Bingo.

If anything important came out of the G-7 meeting, it was probably further evidence that our president is … getting worse.

We know, of course, that he makes things up and doesn’t try to correct himself even when the whole world knows he’s wrong. But he did seem even more befuddled and confused than usual.

His talks with reporters were a good example. He claimed he had personally gotten many important “high-level calls” from Chinese officials who wanted to “make a deal,” something the Chinese seemed to know nothing whatsoever about.


On this occasion Mnuchin, playing the part of translator, said something vague about how there had been some sort of “communication.” Too bad he wasn’t creative enough to tell the world that the Chinese and Trump had become so close they could exchange thoughts without having to pick up the telephone.

The meeting in France wasn’t the only recent exchange with world leaders that suggested Trump is suffering from something more worrisome than the lack of a coherent foreign policy. Back in April, after talking with NATO officials in Washington, he said that despite his complaints about Germany, he had “great respect” for the country from which his father emigrated. “My father is German … born in a very wonderful place in Germany.”

Fred Trump was born in the Bronx. “To mental health professionals like me, the red flags are waving wildly,” wrote psychologist John Gartner.

The only time at the G-7 when Trump seemed very focused was when he got to the plans for next year’s meeting. It’s our turn to pick the location and set the agenda. The president told the international media that his “people” had already been looking for the best possible site and that they had determined it was — yes! — his Doral hotel in Florida.

“It’s right next to the airport. … People are really liking it,” he said enthusiastically, going on to describe the Doral’s “tremendous acreage,” great views and extensive accommodations. He brought this up at two different news conferences. “And what we have also is Miami,” he concluded.

Donald Trump does not actually have Miami.

In response, reporters naturally asked whether it wasn’t a violation of the Constitution for the chief executive to receive valuables — like, say, a huge hotel contract — from foreign governments.


Trump complained he’d already lost “from $3 to 5 billion” by being president. “I did a lot of great jobs and great deals that I don’t do anymore,” he said. “I don’t want to do them because the deals I’m making are great deals for the country, and that’s to me, much more important.”

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This was the appearance in which he used the word “deal” 58 times. We will not go into the evidence that when it comes to any business other than marketing his name as a celebrity reality show star, Trump has been a terrible failure.

So what do you think? Mental deterioration or just Trump as usual? No fair saying they’re both the same.