President Donald Trump bragged about his ignorance while speaking to Japanese dignitaries during his Asia trip Monday.
Trump told the audience he didn’t know there were so many countries in the world until he became president.
“So my relationship with Shinzo got off to quite a rocky start because I never ran for office, and here I am,” Trump said, referring to the Japanese Prime Minister. “But I never ran, so I wasn’t very experienced. And after I had won, everybody was calling me from all over the world. I never knew we had so many countries.”
That was just one of the moments we can look forward to the president making the entire nation facepalm on his nearly two-week-long trip to Asia.
Even before the trip began, the Japan Times reported that Trump questioned why the “samurai warriors” in Japan did not “shoot down” the missiles fired by North Korea earlier this year.
Aside from the racist stereotype, the Japan Times explains that “the altitude and speed of the missiles would have made it very difficult to destroy them in flight, while failure would have been embarrassing for Japan and encouraging to North Korea.”
At a news conference with Abe Monday, Trump called for Japan to buy US anti-missile batteries.
“He will shoot them out of the sky when he completes the purchase of a lot of military equipment from the United States,” Trump said.
“It’s a lot of jobs for us, and a lot of safety for Japan, and other countries that are likewise purchasing military equipment from us,” Trump said. He went on to praise the Japanese economy but added with a glance at Abe, “I don’t know if it’s as good as ours. I think not. OK? We’re going to try to keep it that way. And you’ll be second.”
At a meeting with Japanese auto manufacturers, Trump took a shot at Japan over trade and asked the companies to build their cars in the United States instead.
“Several Japanese automobile industry firms have been really doing a job,” Trump said. “And we love it when you build cars — if you’re a Japanese firm, we love it — try building your cars in the United States instead of shipping them over. Is that possible to ask? That’s not rude. Is that rude? I don’t think so.”
As Ryan Felton points out at Jalopnik, “So at best here Trump is asking these automakers to do something they have already done, are doing, and will do in the future.”
“Let us be very clear that most of the Japanese automakers have huge manufacturing bases in America, and have for decades now,” he explained. “Toyota has manufacturing facilities in Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia and Texas. Honda has plants in Ohio, Indiana, Alabama and Georgia and now exports more U.S.-made cars than it imports. Subaru’s in Indiana, Nissan is in Tennessee and Alabama, and even tiny Mazda is planning to build a plant here soon—with Toyota.”
“I mean, damn. Four million cars? Nearly five million engines? About 850,000 employees, per Bloomberg. What’s he talking about?” he asked.