June 24, 201607:36
"Brexit," the reporter repeated. "Hmm," Trump responded, apparently unfamiliar with the term.
With this exchange in mind, consider what the presumptive Republican presidential nominee said on Twitter this morning:
"Just arrived in Scotland. Place is going wild over the vote. They took their country back, just like we will take America back. No games!"
What Trump may not realize, or really even be able to fully understand, is that Scotland is "going wild" because Scottish voters overwhelmingly voted against leaving the E.U. Locally, people aren't celebrating -- because they see this as a disaster.
Trump proceeded to hold a press conference in Scotland, against the backdrop of one of the most important political moments in the modern history of the United Kingdom, where he spoke at great length, and in great detail, about his new golf resort. The Republican candidate boasted about refurbished holes on his course, plumbing, putting greens, and zoning considerations.
Even by the low standards of Donald J. Trump, it was among the most baffling press conferences anyone has ever seen. The entirety of Scotland is reeling; the future of the U.K. and the continent is uncertain; and an American presidential candidate arrived to deliver a testimonial about a country club and how fond he is of the design of a golf course.
Wait, it gets worse.
Asked about economic turmoil and the degree to which the Brexit results are undermining the value of the British pound, Trump relied that the market decline is good news -- for him.
"If the pound goes down, more people are coming to Turnberry, frankly," he said, referring to the location of his resort. "For traveling and for other things, I think it very well could turn out to be positive."
In a generational moment for the United Kingdom, Trump's principal concern is what this means for Trump.
He added that as far as he's concerned, golf courses are like countries. Trump wasn't kidding.
When NBC News' Katy Tur asked the presidential candidate whether he's traveling with any foreign policy advisors who've spoken to him about Brexit, Trump replied that he's been in touch with his team -- but "there's nothing to talk about."
He then suggested yesterday's vote was President Obama's fault.
I argued yesterday that Trump's trip to Scotland was a mistake. A day later, it's clear I wildly understated matters.
Look, I know Trump doesn't know what he's doing. I realize that he's in over his head. I understand that the trip to Scotland was about giving one of his investments a high-profile boost, unrelated to his campaign for the nation's highest office. But the fact remains that arriving in Scotland today, of all days, created an incredible opportunity for Trump to look and act like a president -- or short of that, someone who's at least vaguely aware of current events.
This was a test he failed so spectacularly, it's as if Trump isn't even trying to succeed.
The word "disqualifying" is probably thrown around a little too often, but in this case, if Trump didn't prove this morning that he's manifestly unprepared for the White House, honestly, what more would it take?