Report: Trump doesn't know what the nuclear New START Treaty is


Donald Trump is not qualified to be president. This is only the latest example. According to Reuters, Trump had to interrupt his phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin so he could ask an aide what the nuclear New START treaty is.

During the presidential election, Donald Trump demonstrated his ignorance many times, including when he referenced something he called the "START-Up" treaty at a debate with Hillary Clinton, and got the details of the actual treaty (the 2010 New START Treaty) completely wrong:

Wallace: Do you condemn their interference?

Trump: Of course I condemn, of course I condemn - I don't know Putin. I have no idea-

Wallace: I'm not asking you that.

Trump: I never met Putin. This is not my best friend. But if the United States got along with Russia, it wouldn't be so bad. Let me tell you, Putin has outsmarted her and Obama at every single step of the way. Whether it is Syria. You name it. Missiles. Take a look at the start-up that they signed. The Russians have said, according to many, many reports, I can't believe they allowed us to do this. They create warheads and we can't. The Russians can't believe it. She has been outsmarted by Putin and all you have to do is look at the Middle East.

Trump was, of course, completely wrong, the treaty did not prevent either country from building new warheads, it requires them to reduce the number of deployed warheads to 1,550 by 2018.

According to a new report from Reuters, Trump still hasn't learned the name of the treaty in the intervening months, nor the correct terms of it:

In his first call as president with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump denounced a treaty that caps U.S. and Russian deployment of nuclear warheads as a bad deal for the United States, according to two U.S. officials and one former U.S. official with knowledge of the call.

When Putin raised the possibility of extending the 2010 treaty, known as New START, Trump paused to ask his aides in an aside what the treaty was, these sources said.

Trump then told Putin the treaty was one of several bad deals negotiated by the Obama administration, saying that New START favored Russia. Trump also talked about his own popularity, the sources said.

The White House's official readout made no mention of the treaty discussion, or of Trump's alleged popularity, or any concern over Russian aggression in Ukraine (via email from The White House, January 28, 2017):

President Donald J. Trump received a congratulatory call today from Russian President Vladimir Putin. The call lasted approximately one hour and ranged in topics from mutual cooperation in defeating ISIS to efforts in working together to achieve more peace throughout the world including Syria. The positive call was a significant start to improving the relationship between the United States and Russia that is in need of repair. Both President Trump and President Putin are hopeful that after today's call the two sides can move quickly to tackle terrorism and other important issues of mutual concern.

Trump's unfitness for office has been obvious from the start, yet he still manages to find ways to make it more obvious every day. Like so many of the people with whom he has surrounded himself, Trump lacks even the fundamental basis of knowledge from which to make any decisions, let alone good ones.