Donald Trump's difficulties in Saudi Arabia testify to his own lack of stamina to fulfill the responsibilities of the presidency.
During his first trip overseas since the inauguration, Donald Trump was reportedly so fatigued that he made errors and was unable to fulfill his scheduled duties in Saudi Arabia.
Trump — who made Hillary Clinton's "stamina" an issue during the presidential campaign and who repeatedly characterized President Barack Obama as too "exhausted" to do his job — appears not to be able to manage the physical demands of the office of the presidency.
In response to questions about Trump making a significant change in language in his speech to the leaders of Saudi Arabia, the White House attributed the error to his being "exhausted":
Asked about line in speech today when Trump said Islamic instead of Islamist, a senior White House official said: “He’s an exhausted guy."
— Jeff Zeleny (@jeffzeleny) May 21, 2017
Trump was apparently so greatly affected by his fatigue that he had his daughter step in for him at the last minute. The widely billed event, Tweeps2017, was supposed to be a Twitter forum hosted by the president, but he sent his daughter Ivanka to take his place. He also had his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, issue statements on his behalf about the success of the trip so far.
Ironically, in thinly veiled sexist characterizations meant to cast doubt on the ability of a woman to be president, Trump began attacking Clinton very early in the campaign for what he claimed was her lack of "stamina" and for being "weak." He frequently claimed that she was not holding rallies the way he did because she was napping.
Hillary Clinton is weak and ineffective - no strength, no stamina.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 16, 2015
Hillary Clinton doesn't have the strength or stamina to be president. Jeb Bush is a low energy individual, but Hillary is not much better!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2016
After Trump became the Republican nominee, he and right-wing extremists amped up their attacks on Clinton's "stamina" — going so far as to spread fake news stories about her supposedly being ill and claiming the media was engaged in a conspiracy to hide it. Trump often said, on Twitter and at rallies, that Clinton "doesn't have the strength or stamina" to be president.
Away from the social media sphere, Trump also presented his baseless accusations about Clinton on the national stage as his core argument in the first presidential debate.
Trump also spent years attacking President Barack Obama for being "exhausted" – exactly the word Trump's own staff used to describe Trump this weekend:
President Obama looks absolutely exhausted in the Netherlands. He is not a natural leader, was never ment to lead - it is tough work for him
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 26, 2014
Obama looks exhausted and beaten. He was never made or prepared for the job. Like it or not, he doesn't have "it"
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 10, 2014
As president, Obama went frequently traveled to other nations, including visiting nine countries within his first 100 days in office.
During her tenure as secretary of state, Clinton traveled almost one million miles and visited more than 100 countries.
Even without international travel, Trump's daily schedules are quite sparse compared with those of his predecessors, leading one journalist to question the White House press secretary about what is Trump "actually doing all day?"
During the campaign, Trump refused to release the medical records that are a standard part of vetting presidential candidates. He instead appeared on the Dr. Oz television show, where Dr. Oz read a bizarre one-page letter from Trump's doctor:
We are pleased to disclose all of the test results which show that Mr. Trump is in excellent health, and has the stamina to endure — uninterrupted — the rigors of a punishing and unprecedented presidential campaign and, more importantly, the singularly demanding job of President of the United States.
As his difficulties in Saudi testify – and is often the case with Donald Trump – his words and his actions do not match, and the weaknesses he ascribes to others are those he himself possesses.