Once again, President Trump demonstrated how little he understands his job. This time, he did it on the world stage for every one to see, and had to be corrected by a foreign leader.
Everything started out just fine at the carefully orchestrated joint press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda yesterday. The event was designed to give the President and easy P.R. win before the G20 Summit, and featured no hostile press. Trump began by reading a carefully worded statement about a landmark trade deal between the two nations.
“I’m pleased to report that the first shipment of American liquified natural gas (LNG) arrived in Poland lat month, and they’ll be many more coming.”
It all went south from there. Immediately after delivering this very polished and constructive bit of news, he went off-script with another now tired attempt at sore loser humor, saying, “Maybe we can get your price up a little bit, but that’s okay.”
It gets worse. He took a soft ball question from a foreign reporter on the liquid natural gas deal, and proceeded to answer like a boy who didn’t do his homework trying to give a report in front of the class. In the process, he revealed he has no idea what he’s talking about.
“In what time perspective do you think a permit contract can be entered into to ensure LNG gas deliveries to Poland?” the reporter asked. Trump answered with his trademark ignorant bluster, saying “I think we can enter a contract within the next 15 minutes. Do you have anybody available to negotiate?”
Nice sound byte, but there’s one problem. That’s not how this deal works. And it’s not how any deals work between governments. The President of Poland wasn’t shy about reminding Trump about how things work when he finally got a chance to speak.
“It is not the president of the United States and the president of Poland who are going to sign the long-term contract for LNG gas deliveries to Poland,” he said with Trump standing right next to him. “The contract will be signed by companies, by a Polish company and an American company.”
You can view the videos of the two answers below.