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Uh-Oh: Does Donald Trump Know How to Read?

Uh-Oh: Does Donald Trump Know How to Read?

I can’t believe I even have to do this but it’s increasingly unclear to me that Donald Trump can comfortably read the written English language. I mean like English written on pages. I genuinely think after reviewing a bunch of videos and comments and evidence yesterday that Donald Trump may barely be able to read. Let’s start with some journalists who have interviewed Donald Trump who have come to the conclusion that certainly Donald Trump doesn’t read. We’ll start there. There was one point when I asked him how he was preparing to possibly be president, and are you reading the great presidential biographies, for example? And he paused for an unusually long time. His voice became almost tender, and he said, you know, I’ve never read a biography but I’ve always wanted to. You ask him as he’s–because he’s leaving the interview and going to bed, what are you reading? And what does he say? He kind of had that look. Oh, yeah, you got me. And then he tried to answer, and he said he’s reading this–this book by– that Ed Klein wrote, a hatchet job on Hillary Clinton, which I’m sure he’s not reading. Then there was a book about Nixon which he couldn’t remember exactly. Right, so Trump has said many times on the campaign trail that one of the main reasons he’d be a good president was because of the stuff that he wrote about his life in “Art of the Deal,” but of course we know he didn’t actually write it, and one of the most notable things to come from an interview with the guy who actually wrote “Art of the Deal,” Tony Schwartz, is that he realized that not only did Trump have essentially no attention span whatsoever, which connects to his concerning level of TV watching that we’ve heard about over the last week or so, but also that he would be shocked to learn that Trump had read a single book cover-to-cover in his entire adult life. Again, this is a quote from an interview with Tony Schwartz where he said that’s why he so prefers TV as his first news source– information comes in easily digestible sound bites. I seriously doubt that Trump has ever read a book straight through in his adult life. He also said that during the entire 18 months that he was writing the book with Trump and observing Trump, he never once even saw a book on Donald Trump’s desk or anywhere in his office or in his apartment. So fine, Donald Trump doesn’t read, but can he read is really the question. Let’s now put this together with that report from last week from about the total disarray that the Trump administration is in, and one of the main disturbing aspects of the early days of the Trump administration according to insiders at the Trump White House is that Donald Trump seems fixated, fixated on watching TV and cannot focus on nor read any of the reports or briefings or white papers or anything. His advisers have even said he doesn’t even really surf the web or use a computer. He’ll scroll through Twitter on his phone and dictate tweets to people in the other room. That’s yet another layer to this thing, that Donald Trump may not only have trouble reading but also have trouble writing, as we’ve talked about before. And trump has even tweeted about this himself. I dictate my tweet to my executive assistant and she posts them. “Time is money.” Source, “The Art of the Deal.” Of course the phrase “time is money” didn’t even come from “The Art of the Deal,” and again, this further continues to call into question both Donald Trump’s reading and writing skills. His advisers have now also said Trump avoids reading any report or briefing that he finds to be too lengthy, and he will often just glance at the first page without even making it evident whether he understands what’s on the page. It continues. Listen to this strange conversation that Mark Fisher had with Donald Trump. So I pressed a little harder and I said, well, How are you preparing? How will you make decisions as president? And he said, well, I’m not gonna be reading any big reports or anything like that. And he told me the story of how a guy from Wall Street came to him, wanted him to make a deal in China and said there was an innovative kind of financing that he wanted Trump to consider, and so Trump said, well, I don’t know anything about. And the guy said, no problem. We’ve done some research. I have a report. I’ll send it to you today. And Trump said, don’t send me any blanking reports, and– and said, ’cause I won’t read them. And here is Trump telling Chuck Todd that he gets his foreign policy advice from TV. Odd place for a presidential candidate to be getting foreign policy advice. Who do you talk to for military advice right now? Well, I watch your shows. I mean, I really see a lot of great– you know, when you watch your show and all of the other shows, and you have the generals and you have certain people… So that’s circumstantial. Trump doesn’t read. But is he avoiding reading because he doesn’t like it or because he has trouble reading? And here is where it all explodes. I recently saw this interview I’m about to play for you on “The Opie with Jim Norton” radio show with “Saturday Night Live’s” Pete Davidson, and Pete Davidson described that when Trump was guest hosting “Saturday Night Live,” he genuinely seemed unable to read the script. Take a look at this. Okay, so he’s like–he doesn’t really know how to read. For real? Yeah, so during like the table read, he, like– before, like, we were gonna read each– before he had to read each line, and he’s the host so he’s in everything. Yeah. He would go, uh, I’m not gonna say this. I think I’m gonna say it the way I want to say it. Is that okay? Is that okay, Lorne? Is that–everything– And everybody’s like, what? And then this is–my favorite part is, there was a sketch that we wrote where he’s at Disneyland with his daughter, and the line is, All right, let’s get out of here. Turkey legs? Like, let’s go get turkey legs? Sure. And he doesn’t know how to read, so he went, All right. Let’s get out of here, Turkey Legs. He called his daughter Turkey Legs. And then he looked up. Like, he doesn’t get it. Like, he thinks if everybody’s laughing with him but we’re all laughing at him. So this would explain why it’s such a disaster every time Trump tries to use a teleprompter. Not because he’s unfamiliar with prompters but because he’s not a very good reader. Let’s take a look at just one of these awkward teleprompter debacles. Everything that is broken today can be fixed and every failure can be turned into a truly great success. Just look at the way I just melded into the teleprompter. Yeah, so now here’s where it gets completely nuts. I took a look at some specific portions of a deposition that Trump gave in June of last year, and there is some really really clear attempts here to avoid having to read out loud. His lawyer clearly doesn’t want Trump to do any reading out loud. And is the first clip where Trump says, I don’t read leases. Let’s start with that. Did you review the lease at all before you signed it? No. How many leases like this have you reviewed in your career? Signed or reviewed? Reviewed. Not too many. I signed hundreds… Right, so he’s never really reviewed a lease, and then he’s asked to read a portion and his lawyer really doesn’t like it. Yeah? You did not review this section of the lease. – What does that say?
– Monetary damages. This is in the remedies section. I did not. No. Okay. Would you be able to read this section and tell us what your understanding of it is? Objection. Mr.. Trump isn’t a lawyer. I mean, do you want me to read it? It’s a lot of–it’s long– It is long. – It’s very long.
– It is long. Yeah, so then it looks like maybe Trump is actually going to read, his lawyer seeming increasingly nervous, and it gets really weird. I would–I would like you to read just the monetary damages section starting at the number one in the middle of the page, just there, the rest of that, and to the end of that. It continues on the next page. And tell me what you think, reading that, you as the landlord are entitled to get from the tenant in the event of a tenant breach in the way of damages. I don’t have my glasses. I am at a disadvantage–because I didn’t bring my glasses. This is such small writing. All right, well– If the witness can’t actually
physically read the language– I mean, it’s very small writing. I can–I can make it out. Do you want me to try? Well, I’m… We can have–you know what we can do? We can have a bigger copy made of these pages. – And we’ll come back to it.
– Let me try–let me just do it. All right, I have to place on the record a hearty objection. Hmm. Awkward. Very awkward. Insanely awkward. So long pause, looking at the page, looking confused. He doesn’t have his glasses with him. Have we ever seen Trump wearing glasses when signing executive orders? Have we ever seen Trump wearing glasses at those countless rallies where he goes up onstage with polling data to read to people? No. Here’s an example. Again, never any glasses. All right, so South Carolina just came out, and that’s 32 for Trump, 18 for second, 11 for third, great. Florida leading by a lot, 31, 19, 13, and then all down in the dumps. So again, he’s able to read numbers off of a page. Didn’t seem to have a problem there without his glasses. We’ve never seen him wear glasses, but all of a sudden at the deposition, he doesn’t have his glasses. And then his lawyer objects again as you heard. Lastly Trump stares at it for a while and then again instead of reading it, He sort of weirdly paraphrases what he thinks it says. Yeah, it’s the all damages that the landlord may sustain including all legal fees and everything else involved. Looks like everything and the kitchen sink to me. Then you have number two. Yeah? Go on. It’s the value of the positive difference with the aggregate amount of the base rent and the additional rent. The guy can barely read, Pat. I am convinced he can barely read. And even on an inauguration day–I didn’t think much of this– Trump seemed confused about which orders he was signing and where to sign, but it’s all part of this. He kept having to be told what he was signing, and now it all comes together. The guy barely can comprehend what’s on pieces of paper. We have to sign that. I know that. Where would you like me to sign this? You just sign under– Just underneath. Anyplace you want. As long as it’s signed. So we may have a Trump–a president– we may have a president in Trump here who isn’t speaking at a fourth-grade level because it’s some genius way to appeal to people. It’s because he’s reading at a fourth-grade level, and that’s the highest level he’s able to speak at. I mean, I’m not sure if we have enough here to make a conclusion on his raw reading ability. – No.
– But the lack of intellectual curiosity is what bothers me, because you can get books on tape, you can have advisers come in and tell you what the policy proposals are. There’s ways around this. There are ways around it, but this is all incredibly disturbing, and I’m curious to see what the audience thinks about it.

Reader Comments

  1. Trump is an absolute idiot, where i'm from the term is "thick as shit", which, as a description of old nest head, is as accurate as it gets.

  2. Trump is a billionaire with a degree from Wharton and a F'n boob like you questions his smarts???? Grow up you a-holes I'm sure Trump would show his grades if asked, unlike that POS Obummer you idolize!! Never heard of you before and never will watch your pencil-necked ass again!!

  3. Trump's a successful billionaire businessman who is now the leader of the free world, and little Davie is just another liberal snowflake that wears a pink pussy-hat. LOL

  4. arrrr….too good.

  5. MANA 2020 = Make America Normal Again in 2020 !
    Dump President Blowhard and his entire dirtbag family !!
    Let him go back to what he REALLY wants to be doing;
    having sex with his useless daughter.
    (At least that is what he tells all the hookers he has been with.)
    "You remind me of my daughter"
    What kind of pervert says that to someone
    he is paying to have sex with ???


  7. Everyone with a brain knows trump can’t read or run a country. America is now the laughingstock of the world. Kim jung and Putin must be laughing their heads off.

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  9. Sure he can read, didn't he tell us all that he is a genius and that he was smarter than any other Presidents before him?

  10. America is on the verge of flipping from a
    democratic republic to a strongman or autocratic form of government, something
    that’s happened to dozens of democracies in the past few decades, but never
    before here. It’s possible we won’t recover from it.

    Trump is openly defying the norms and laws of our republic, while calling for
    the imprisonment of both his political enemies and members of the very law
    enforcement agencies that might hold him to account.


    These are the symptoms of a republic in
    crisis propagated by Trump:

    *Calling the press
    “the enemy of the people.”

    *Refusing to
    interact with Congress as the Constitution dictates.

    *Packing the
    courts with demonstrably unqualified ideologues.

    *Lying to the
    people on a daily basis.

    autocrats while trashing traditional allies.

    *Breaking the law
    and saying   that the president can’t be
    prosecuted, while he   runs out the clock
    on the statute of limitations.

    *Bragging that
    he’s making money on the presidency and daring anybody to stop him.

    *Putting lobbyists
    in charge of public lands, our banking system, and our environment.

    *Embracing violent
    and hateful people and movements, both at home and abroad.


    There’s a lot of hand-wringing going on in
    the press and in D.C. about Trump’s political and legal excesses. What
    everybody seems to be missing is the permanent damage he’s doing to our
    republic by finding the loose floorboards under our republic, the loopholes and
    norms of political behavior that have been enforced for centuries out of good
    will and respect, rather than fear of the law.

    Like a petulant child or a juvenile delinquent, he delights in breaking them
    right in front of us.    From Thom Hartmann "How Republics

  11. People who are slow in one area can be a genius in another. Einstein perfect example. His limited teachers said he was a failure and would never amount to anything. Many Egghead physicist were blind to this as well . Then came E – MC squared. That shut up the nay sayers. Einstein so deep in thought while standing in line ,when his turn came he briefly forgot his own name . what an idiot looser right? Wake up people


    Trump: "What do you expect me to do, read that?"

    Me: "Yes."

    Trump: "Give a minute here."

  13. How bad is his eye sight too letters and numbers probably just get all mixed up when he looks at a page . I thought my spelling and grammar was bad but he says he a stable Guinness . I wonder how did his homework work or $$$ for it

  14. Who the fuck does not bring their glasses to an interview? Who the fuck doesn't carry their glasses if the need glasses? Remember that this fool claims to be a Billionaire, so money is no object.

  15. Help the Pres out with his reading. Stop using such big words he wouldn't understand, such as, apple, aristocrats, brown, blue, diplomat, policy, and naming countries that are foreign to him such as Puerto Rico, and Brazil.

  16. The Trump Library is planned for the Las Vegas Strip opening in 2021 and will contain the worlds largest collection of belly button lint on the planet. He’s the man!

  17. How did he graduated from 12th grade and even college even enter college . I guess he is forest gump stupid is stupid does

  18. Complete IDIOT !!!! And YOU!!!! Voted for this guy ?????? He's not all there !!!!! Wake up people!!!!!! My God !!!!!

  19. Trump gets Mexico to capitulate…..saves tequila & avacados for Americans, Mexico holding rally to celebrate.
    not bad for someone who cant read!!!
    democrats were praying trump would fail & now dont know whether to sh&t or go sailing!!

  20. This is balls to the wall terrifying, and I don't even live in that fucking country. Fuck. Your children are seeing this for God's sake!!! What kind of example does this set for them? Don't worry about reading, little timmy. Say, even the president doesn't know how to read!

  21. 12:00 is a typical excuse of an illiterate person (dont have my glasses) to avoid having to say they can't read.


  23. As a child with dyslexia, I was embarrassed that at grade 3 I still couldn't read. I used to take my school reader home grades 1-3 and have my dad read them to me over and over again, I would memorize what he said for each picture, when I was called on to read I would recite the lines. Then half way through 3rd grade pictures started only appearing every couple pages, I had to memorize the lines between the pages. One day I lost track, was my turn to read and I swear to god I looked like Trump at that deposition. I tried to summarize what was going on in the story. Lol I got busted hard! Got the help I needed. But if I had to guess I would say when Trump looks at a page of words he's just seeing a swirling mess. Luckily my insatiable appetite for knowledge powered me through and once I learned how to read (I may be slow and have to re-read lines) I read everything I could get my hands on. It's not easy but it's worth it. Can't believe how a man in his 70s with all the resources available to him because of his wealth could simply spend his life avoiding it and being ignorant. Guessing Trump isn't just illiterate but also Lazy.

  24. Complete lack of intellectual curiosity is a great way of putting it. truly believe if Trump couldn't afford a team of lawyers to scrutinize things for him he would be the sort of person that could be easily swindled.

  25. David David David…We must alll realize this so called man has a serious disability. ! His IQ has been confirmed at 73…! Have pity…or at least sympathy!

  26. This damn fool is the President of The USA and people thinks it funny!!! Get rid of this man before things get worst!!!

  27. Project Veritas exposing Google shows they committed treason, and worse than anything they alleged Russia to have done with physical evidence that is undeniable. Forget Iran, Trump needs to wage war against the major tech companies, it isn't just FB, Twitter and youtube, look at Hollywoke as well… This explains all the shitty SJW movies we have had released recently. This goes deeper than you think. SJW's can't change their own shitty diapers let alone other people's minds, all they have done is made conservatism more popular and cool. The joke is on them. It's the Democrats that want war with Iran and North Korea.

  28. What's worse is that Trump doesn't know that he's an imbecile. He thinks he's an effing genius. To be both a rabid narcissist and a raging moron are the worst qualities any president can possess.

  29. OK. I Know Everyone Doesn't Agree With Him. But Who Has Time To Read A Book Cover to Cover In Adult Life? Anyone Who Critical Of Trumps Reading, Repeat War * Peace & Bible To Us ! Oh Wait. You Probably Can't. He Is Not Agreeable With. But Give Him A Little Slack! BTW I'm A Democrat. I Respect His Keeping Jobs In America Policy However.

  30. I almost passed up watching this video, I'm so glad I didn't! I don't believe he can read! At least if he can he's very very bad at it. No wonder he signs his name in such a way that it appears extra LARGE He probably can read his own signature! I guess that's what attending a military school can do! His father probably paid them off at the school he went to in order to keep them quiet about his poor reading ability.

  31. This is why his cult followers love him…they too don't read and can not think beyond their one inch thoughts.

  32. Dude idk if you're purposefully playing stupid or what but you're really playing games here. She asks to him read the portion of the lease AND, this is the important part as I'm sure you know, TELL US WHAT YOUR UNDERSTANDING IS. His lawyer is objecting to that part not the reading you fool. Also did you expect him to read aloud…"long pause, looking at the page, looking confused" My guy, he's reading the fucking lease. Trump's an idiot but please don't be stupid on purpose.


  34. This man is the LEADER of the free world???!!😆😂😂😞😞😞 America, the world is TOTALLY looking at you differently if this is the man selected to lead one of the most diverse nations, globally. He’s revealed a totally new side which we now understand you’ve been so desperately to hide. He’s embarrassing! It’s now becoming apparent why he went bankrupt a couple of times.

  35. He reads find, proves it when hes reading the teleprompter, he just can't write and spell, proved that many times

  36. Really ? Pakman and his cult zombies are so dysfunctional they don't even know what gender they are, but they think TRUMP can't read. Your stupidity is so damn funny. LOLLLLLL

  37. The u.s. president cannot read and his people cannot think, perfect match, America First…to go down::::

  38. i think, like most jocks, he sees wearing glasses as nerdy, and being nerdy as a weakness. so he refuses to do so. this explanation would fit perfectly with his behavior/mentality.

  39. Better bury those SCHOOL RECORDS ! Covfefe, Denmakr and a smocking gun ! Watch the way he counts the strokes while writing his signature !
    He’s only a public servant !

  40. "I dont have my glasses," said this stupid son of a bitch. But republicans are just as stupid. They fell for it.

  41. America is a joke. The idea that an illiterate can be promoted to highschool, much less the presidency shows the rot is complete.

  42. As a former elementary school counselor, a person who has dyslexia will act out and bully others to cover up for their learning disability. He has said he hasn't read a book in years, and is proud of it. He won't read his PDB or President Daily Brief on intelligence. He won't read anything without his name in it and it has to have pictures and graphics. His parents sent him to military reform school to "teach him discipline," at age 13. His marketing professor at Penn in the Wharton School of Business said he was "the dumbest student he ever had." He rarely attended. He spent his time trying to make real estate deals. So besides narcissism, and pre-dementia, he has dyslexia. And he doesn't care. He has no empathy or sympathy for others and loves dictators. He has an inferiority complex and hates losers. He only wants unquestioned loyalty to him. Under the 25 Amendment he should be removed from office. And 10 counts of obstruction of justice outlined in the Mueller Report add two counts of obstruction of justice from blocking the IRS from auditing his Mar A Largo resort and Koch Industries. Add to that "failure to execute the laws of the US" and to "defend and protect the Constitution of the US, and everyday, when anyone stays at the Trump Hotel in DC, especially when they are Russian Oligarchs or Arab Sheiks, he is violating the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution. Now to earn more money for Mar A Largo, he wants to host the G7 or the G 20 Summit there, yet another violation of the Emoluments Clause. He is corrupt, abused his office, inept and incompetent, immature and unfit for office. All overwhelming evidence and grounds for impeachment and removal from office. But Senator Mitch McConnell will never even appoint a committee, let alone convene a hearing or a trial in the Senate, even if Trump does anything more egregious, like "shooting someone in the middle of 5th Ave." The Republicans should change the name of their party to the Trump Party and Fox News should change their name to the Trump News Network or TNN since all of the news media other than Fox, are "fake news" and "enemies of the people."

  43. Why am I just seeing this omg. Now it’s all making sense on why he is a walking taking moron in the White House.

  44. Uhm, dunno about the reading bit, but his early 80s and even 90s interviews clearly show a man who does NOT speak at a ''4th grade level''. His syntax was on-point & he was actually able to form complex & sometimes even long-winded sentences. I think he IS dumbing down his rhetoric quite a lot, but it is possible that he's actually dyslexic
    which is a legitimate learning disability and does not entail a low I.Q. per se. Please, do your research properly. You might think he's the ''scum of the Earth'', but he's clearly competent on matters of finance and can talk about that kind of stuff at great length going into the minutiae of things – e.g. – ''Donald Trump on Economic Recovery (1991)
    '' – ''Donald Trump 1980 Interview
    '' – Here, he's clearly at least moderately ''eloquent'' and he can elucidate on matters of finance & business and is, actually, coming off as an intelligent forthright kind of guy.

    P.S. I wouldn't have voted for him nor do I support his policies and what he stands for, but cut the guy some slack, will ya?

  45. Just stumbled across this video. Hit play with an open mind. I'm 3:14 in and you said, he is in a room, scrolling through tweets and calls someone in another roam to dictate his tweets to. Humm… Your video is losing credibility quick and becoming entertaining, laughable. If he is alone in a room scrolling through tweets, but cant read…… How would he know what to dictate to someone in another room, in response to the tweets he scrolled through alone in the other room.?

  46. No, he's illiterate. He paid his way through school just like he paid his way for bone spurs to avoid the draft

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