In just 48 hours, Trump managed to insult a venerated military veteran, failed to remember the name of a wildfire-scarred town, confused the president of Finland and seemed to mock a sitting congressman.
Asked how he would grade his presidency during a Sunday morning interview with Chris Wallace of Fox News, President Trump offered only the smallest amount of hesitation before giving himself top marks.
“Look, I hate to do it, but I will do it, I would give myself an A-plus,” he answered. “Is that enough? Can I go higher than that?”
Others might disagree with his self-assessment. This weekend, Trump managed to insult a venerated military veteran, mangled the name of a wildfire-scarred town that he had just left, confused the president of Finland by making strange comments about leaf raking and, like a grade-schooler, attempted to taunt a critic in Congress with a naughty play on his name. All in just 48 hours.
The weekend kicked off with Trump’s bizarre comments about raking leaves. Touring California communities that have been decimated by the deadliest fires in the state’s history, Trump told reporters on Saturday that he had recently been talking to the president of Finland. “He called it a forest nation,” Trump said, referring to Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, “and they spent a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things, and they don’t have any problem.”
As The Washington Post’s Avi Selk pointed out, Trump had made similar remarks on Friday before his California trip, telling Fox News: “I was watching the firemen the other day, and they were raking areas. They were raking areas! They’re raking trees, little trees like this — nut trees, little bushes, that you could see are totally dry. Weeds! And they’re raking them. They’re on fire.”
The remarks provoked a fair amount of head-scratching, as Finland’s forestry-management practices are not ordinarily considered germane to the issue of wildfire suppression in the arid West. Niinisto was no less baffled: While he had discussed forest management with Trump, he told the Associated Press, leaf raking had not entered the conversation. Meanwhile, bemused Finns clarified that they didn’t actually spend their spare time raking up leaves in the nation’s forests, and responded with a hashtag: #MakeAmericaRakeAgain. Some posted humorous photos of their rakes.
As The Post’s Rick Noack reported, experts believe there may be “too few” fires in Finland, which maintains one of the world’s most successful wildfire strategies thanks to controlled burns of the forest floors.
This man is done! The @GOP is going to be shown as obstructors in this and there will change so many laws to make sure this never happens again.