From the Left



How beastly is Trump? The Washington Post Gut Checker investigates.

Dana Milbank on

WASHINGTON -- It was an exemplary week for presidential misbehavior.

President Trump had an international tantrum over Denmark's refusal to sell him Greenland.

He invoked the anti-Semitic trope that American Jews have a dual loyalty to Israel.

He proclaimed himself the Messiah.

Along the way, he used shooting victims for self-promotion, said he wanted a medal for military valor, and more.

In this divided land, there is broad agreement on one thing: Our president is unpresidential.


A Washington Post/ABC News poll released last month found that two-thirds of Americans find Trump "unpresidential," and only 28% say his actions are "fitting and proper." Trump himself has acknowledged that some of his behavior is "not at all 'Presidential'."

It's hard to say for sure whether Trump was more undignified this week compared with most others. This is, after all, a man who boasted publicly about his genitals, uses words such as "bull---- ," "p---y," "goddamn" and "little Schitt" in public, misspells tweets, talks of women bleeding, proclaims himself a "stable genius" with a "very large brain," "fell in love" with North Korea's dictator, paid hush money to a porn actress, shoved a prime minister, wore an ill-fitting vest to visit Queen Elizabeth and praised the "shape" of France's first lady.

He also let Kanye West loose in the Oval Office, prayed for higher ratings for "The Apprentice" at a prayer breakfast , spoke of "raking" forests, hugged an American flag, dragged toilet paper from his shoe, suggested the Clintons murdered Jeffrey Epstein, described neo-Nazis as "very fine people," and, when told by a rape victim that the Islamic State killed her family, replied: "Where are they now?"

But maybe there is a way to calibrate vulgarity. Washington Post Fact Checker Glenn Kessler and his team have documented more than 12,000 false or misleading statements by Trump using the Pinocchio system: from one Pinocchio for "shading" facts to four for "whoppers." Rare, unexpectedly true statements earn a Geppetto.


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