President Trump is smarter than you. Just ask him.
Trump this week added a doozy to the list of statements he has made about just how smart he is. This time, in a speech to sheriffs, he said he understands things better than just about anybody else, apparently anywhere.
Trump doesn’t explain his full definition of what it means to him to be “smart,” though he did make a specific reference in a Sept. 26, 2016, debate with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, when he said this about not paying federal income taxes in some years: “That makes me smart.”
Trump attended Fordham University, a Jesuit school in the Bronx, for two years, before transferring to the University of Pennsylvania — a school in the elite Ivy League — and studied economics for two years. He took undergraduate classes at UPenn’s famed Wharton School of Business, which is known for its graduate program. Trump graduated from UPenn in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree in economics.
Howard Gardner, the Harvard University professor who revolutionized the fields of psychology and education with his “theory of multiple intelligences,” unpacked what Gardner said is Trump’s narrow views on the nature of intelligence in a recent post, which you can find here.
Here are comments Trump has made in recent years about just how smart he is:
* On Feb. 8, the president addressed a meeting of the National Sheriffs’ Association and spoke about his travel ban affecting seven Muslim-majority countries, which is now in the courts. He said it was so easy to understand that even a “bad student” could get its meaning. He also said:
“I was a good student. I comprehend very well, okay, better than I think almost anybody.”
* On Jan 27, Trump made a speech at the CIA and said:
“Now, I know a lot about West Point. I’m a person that very strongly believes in academics. Like every time I say I had an uncle who was a great professor at MIT for 35 years who did a fantastic job in so many different ways, academically — he was an academic genius — and then they say, is Donald Trump an intellectual? Trust me, I’m like a smart person.”
* On Dec. 11, Fox News aired an interview with then President-elect Donald Trump, and he explained why he didn’t need to have daily intelligence briefings, which are ordinarily given to presidents and president-elects. He said:
“I’m, like, a smart person. I don’t have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years.”
* On July 21, presidential candidate Trump spoke at Sun City’s Magnolia Hall in South Carolina about then-President Barack Obama’s nuclear arms deal with Iran.
“Look, having nuclear — my uncle was a great professor and scientist and engineer, Dr. John Trump at MIT; good genes, very good genes, okay, very smart, the Wharton School of Finance, very good, very smart — you know, if you’re a conservative Republican, if I were a liberal, if, like, okay, if I ran as a liberal Democrat, they would say I’m one of the smartest people anywhere in the world — it’s true! — but when you’re a conservative Republican they try — oh, do they do a number — that’s why I always start off: went to Wharton, was a good student, went there, went there, did this, built a fortune — you know I have to give my like credentials all the time, because we’re a little disadvantaged. …”
* On March 16, Trump appeared on the MSNBC show “Morning Joe” and co-host Mika Brzezinski asked him what experts he was talking about foreign affairs with so that he could be ready on Day 1 if he became president. He responded:
“I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things. … I know what I’m doing and I listen to a lot of people, I talk to a lot of people and at the appropriate time I’ll tell you who the people are. But I speak to a lot of people. My primary consultant is myself, and I have, you know, I have a good instinct for this stuff.”
* On July 11, 2015, he said at a political rally in Phoenix:
“I went to the Wharton School of Business. I’m, like, a really smart person.”
* And on Jan. 19, 2017, he also bragged about how smart his Cabinet is when he spoke at a lunch in D.C. at the Trump International Hotel:
“We have by far the highest IQ of any Cabinet ever assembled!”