The problem is the president doesn't know any of this. He doesn't know any history at all, even some of the basics on the US. — Gen. John Kelly, Trump's chief of staff
The problem is the president doesn't know any of this. He doesn't know any history at all, even some of the basics on the US. — Gen. John Kelly, Trump's chief of staff
John Kelly once complained that Trump 'doesn't know any history at all, even some of the basics on the US,' book says
  • John Kelly once said that Trump "doesn't know any history at all, even some of the basics on the US," a new book says.
  • He reportedly made the comment while Trump was meeting with Germany's Angela Merkel at the 2018 G20 summit.
  • Fiona Hill wrote that Merkel "patiently and even humorously" explained to Trump why Germany had a stake in US-Russia arms control talks.
Hill wrote that Kelly made the comment during the 2018 G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At the time, Trump was meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the two were discussing the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty between the US and Russia. The summit came shortly after Trump announced that October that the US would withdraw from the landmark agreement, claiming that Russia had violated its terms.

... Merkel explained to Trump at the G20 summit that she participated in anti-nuclear protests in East Germany in the 1980s, and that her colleagues in West Germany opposed stationing US missiles in Europe. The German leader "patiently and even humorously laid out all of this and how the risk of a US-Soviet nuclear war had been the all-encompassing topic of her youth," Hill wrote.

Trump's conversation with Merkel "was the first time" he had "ever listened to the Europeans' perspective on the 1980s and heard why US-Russian arms-control negotiations were important to them as well," the book said. "It was clear that none of this had ever occurred to him before."

Hill wrote that while Merkel was explaining Europe's interest in US-Russia relations, Kelly remarked on how little Trump knew about geopolitics.

"He leaned over to me and whispered, 'The problem is the president doesn't know any of this,'" Kelly said, according to Hill's book. "He doesn't know any history at all, even some of the basics on the US."

The former president's lack of knowledge about global issues also irritated other world leaders during phone calls, Hill wrote. "Some leaders, like President Erdogan of Turkey, would get angry in meetings or on calls when Trump obviously had no idea what they were talking about."


Hill also described Trump's lack of knowledge and refusal to do his homework as a "major liability" for US national security: "Whenever he got to meetings and the conversation started, it seemed like the first time he was hearing things from world leaders."
Read the full article: https://www.businessinsider.com/john-kelly-trump-doesnt-know-history-fiona-hill-book-2021-10