What Does Donald Trump Know? Anything?

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At about 3:30 a.m. on Saturday, China agreed to return the US Navy drone they had seized in the South China Sea. Four hours later, Donald Trump tweeted his thoughts about this: “China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters?rips it out of water and takes it to China in unprecedented act.” Then, a few hours later, he bizarrely changed tack: “We should tell China that we don’t want the drone they stole back.- let them keep it!” Did Trump know when he wrote those tweets that the Chinese had already agreed to return the drone?

That information would have been known to Trump had he received the “Presidential Daily Brief” prior to posting his first tweet. Whether he did that Saturday, or whether he or his staff even bothered to check with the State Department or the Pentagon about the status of the matter before weighing in, is unknown. Officials in Trump’s transition office did not respond to queries from the Huffington Post.

Trump has said that he finds the PDB repetitive and that he does not need a daily briefing because he is smart. His staff has said Trump is receiving the briefing about three times a week.

That’s from S.V. Date, and I love the second excerpted paragraph. It makes Trump look like the idiot he is, but there’s nothing objectionable about it. That’s exactly what he said. Trump can hardly cry foul at this characterization.

He will, of course, because he and his team have made a whole new profession out of grievance mongering. You’d think that he expected to govern without criticism or something—and judging by the remarkable volume of whining out of Trump and his team, maybe he did. But since he refuses to speak with the press, and his staff does nothing but kvetch and tap dance, we may never know.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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