What Does Donald Trump Know? Anything?

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At about 3:30 a.m. on Saturday, China agreed to return the US Navy drone they had seized in the South China Sea. Four hours later, Donald Trump tweeted his thoughts about this: “China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters?rips it out of water and takes it to China in unprecedented act.” Then, a few hours later, he bizarrely changed tack: “We should tell China that we don’t want the drone they stole back.- let them keep it!” Did Trump know when he wrote those tweets that the Chinese had already agreed to return the drone?

That information would have been known to Trump had he received the “Presidential Daily Brief” prior to posting his first tweet. Whether he did that Saturday, or whether he or his staff even bothered to check with the State Department or the Pentagon about the status of the matter before weighing in, is unknown. Officials in Trump’s transition office did not respond to queries from the Huffington Post.

Trump has said that he finds the PDB repetitive and that he does not need a daily briefing because he is smart. His staff has said Trump is receiving the briefing about three times a week.

That’s from S.V. Date, and I love the second excerpted paragraph. It makes Trump look like the idiot he is, but there’s nothing objectionable about it. That’s exactly what he said. Trump can hardly cry foul at this characterization.

He will, of course, because he and his team have made a whole new profession out of grievance mongering. You’d think that he expected to govern without criticism or something—and judging by the remarkable volume of whining out of Trump and his team, maybe he did. But since he refuses to speak with the press, and his staff does nothing but kvetch and tap dance, we may never know.

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And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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