Better than almost anyone

Yesterday Trump talked to a law enforcement conference in DC yesterday, and seized the opportunity to set the assembled law enforcement people straight about the law.

Trump kicked off his remarks by reading out loud the Immigration and Nationality Act, the law that gives the president authority to stop the flow of classes of aliens entering the U.S. The Trump administration has used that law as its legal standing for a controversial order temporarily banning all immigrants from seven Muslim-majority nations, a policy that created mass chaos at America’s airports and drew criticism even from some Republicans.

“It’s sad, I think it’s a sad day. I think our security is at risk today. And it will be at risk until such time as we are entitled and get what we are entitled to as citizens of this country,” Trump said. “It was done for the security of our nation. The security of our citizens. So that people come in who aren’t going to do us harm. And that’s why it was done. And it couldn’t have been written any more precisely. It’s not like, ‘Oh gee, we wish it were written better.’ It’s written beautifully.”

Whoa, go easy with the technical language there, dude, have a little compassion for us non-experts.

Despite the prior rulings against him, Trump argued Wednesday that the law is clearly and unequivocally in his favor. But his order could still be undone by constitutional concerns, which would supersede what is written in the statute, if courts find that Trump’s action was done for improper religious reasons or deprives individuals of legitimate rights without due process.

“You could be a lawyer, or you don’t have to be a lawyer. If you were a good student in high school or a bad student in high school, you can understand this, and it’s really incredible to me that we have a court case that’s going on so long,” Trump told his audience. “I was a good student. I understand things. I comprehend very well, OK? Better than, I think, almost anybody. And I want to tell you, I listened to a bunch of stuff last night on television that was disgraceful. It was disgraceful because what I just read to you is what we have. And it just can’t be written any plainer or better and for us to be going through this.”

Did you see it? I’ll play it again, with emphasis.

I was a good student. I understand things. I comprehend very well, OK? Better than, I think, almost anybody.

That’s one of those instant self-undermining things. Nobody who “understands things” would ever say that in a million years. Nobody. Nobody who had the most minimal understanding of how the world works would ever claim to have more cognitive firepower than “almost anybody.” Making that claim neatly demonstrates its own falsity.

And he doesn’t. He doesn’t comprehend anything.

He doesn’t understand, for instance, that the fact that he can understand the wording of a law does not mean that there is no room left for hearings and appeals. He doesn’t understand that that’s not how the law works. He doesn’t understand anything.

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