Donald Trump loves to boast about possessing unique expertise in a range of subjects that lie far beyond his grasp. For example, in November 2015, Trump told supporters at a campaign rally in Iowa: “I know more about ISIS than the generals do. Believe me!” Then, when Trump accepted the GOP nomination for president of the United States in July 2016, he declared: “Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.” More recently, Trump has insisted that he knows more about the economy than the Federal Reserve and that “nobody knows more about technology than me” while trying to explain (including to himself) exactly what he means by a “wall.”
As a self-proclaimed genius in everything, Trump often feels compelled to offer bad advice when it is neither requested nor appropriate. This is what Trump did in his first public reaction to the news that a fire was ravaging the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris on Monday. Trump tweeted, “So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!”
Although it was busy dealing with this unspeakable tragedy, France’s civil defense agency found a moment to shut down Trump’s ill-advised utterance. Responding indirectly, the agency tweeted, in English: “Hundreds of firemen of the Paris Fire Brigade are doing everything they can to bring the terrible Notre Dame fire under control. All means are being used, except for water-bombing aircrafts which, if used, could lead to the collapse of the entire structure of the cathedral.”
Similar nonsense played out when wildfires raged through California late last year. After Trump tweeted that the state is at fault for “gross mismanagement of the forests,” he proceeded to insert himself as an after-the-fact expert. He claimed that a method known as raking would have prevented the horrible situation from unfolding as it did. The only thing is, it was wildly inaccurate, as FactCheck.org explains at length. These examples show that Trump is, indeed, an expert—at being wrong.