Three weeks ago today, ahead of the government shutdown deadline, Donald Trump acknowledged technological advancements along the U.S./Mexico border, though the president dismissed them as insufficient. We should take his word for it, Trump argued at the time, because as he put it, "I know tech better than anyone."
Twelve days later, during his first-ever remarks in the White House press briefing room, the president noted proponents of using drones at the border. Again, Trump said they wouldn't make a significant difference. "I think nobody knows much more about technology, this kind of technology certainly, than I do," he said.
Yesterday, Trump inflated his expertise to a new level. The president isn't just a technological expert; he has "professional" skills in the area.
"The only [way] you're going to have border security -- there's only [one] way. You can have all the technology in the world. I'm a professional at technology. But if you don't have a steel barrier or a wall of some kind -- strong, powerful -- you're going to have human trafficking; you're going to have drugs pouring across the border; you're going to have MS-13 and the gangs coming in."
You and I might look at Donald J. Trump and see a television personality, an amateur politician, an amateur conspiracy theorist, and an overleveraged businessman who managed to lose money running a casino, but that's because our focus is too narrow.
We've evidently failed to see that Trump -- a man confused by Google News results -- is actually someone so proficient with technology that he's reached a "professional" level.
What's more, it's not just technology. The Washington Post published a great analysis along these lines last week.
Close Trump watchers will recognize the format of this assertion that Trump knows more than anyone about topic X. He's used it frequently, fitting with his tendency toward hyperbole in all things, especially himself. It is high time, though, that we document all of Trump's expertises, given how frequently a president is called upon to exercise his judgment on important issues. We should know when Trump is offering an opinion that derives from his position as the preeminent authority on the subject.
What followed was a painfully long list of Trump claiming to be the world's foremost authority on everything from terrorism to campaign finance, the judicial system to infrastructure, trade to renewable energy.
NowThis recently prepared a related video montage on the subject, and it was amazing to see the many subjects on which the president considers himself a world-class expert.
I can't wait for Trump to soon tell us that no one knows more than he does about modesty and honesty, too.