He’s holding the office but not doing the job.

President Donald Trump’s first non-Fox television interview in a long time, conducted with CNBC’s Joe Kernen from Davos, Switzerland, is in many respects weirdly devoid of substance. And much of the substance that’s there consists of misstatements of fact.

But lurking in that is an important insight: Trump is holding the office of president, but he’s not doing the job of president. He seems to have no real idea what’s going on, even with his own signature policy moves.

Some of his misstatements have the color of propaganda, but often he seems to be caught up in other people’s propaganda or even to have misunderstood his own talking points. He’s disengaged from the details of big questions like NAFTA — “I may terminate NAFTA, I may not,” he says profoundly. He can’t even describe his own negotiating positions in the immigration standoff accurately.

Listening to him talk is interesting from an entertainment perspective (he did once host a popular television show), but it conveys no information about the world, the American government, or the Trump administration’s policies. If Kernen wanted to help his viewers understand what’s going on, he’d have been better off interviewing someone else.

Trump keeps getting facts wrong

In a fairly typically Trumpian gesture, one of the president’s first remarks explains that most people don’t appreciate the significance of Apple’s commitment to invest $350 billion in US manufacturing facilities. Most people probably don’t appreciate this because it isn’t true.

Kernen asks about whether Trump’s decision to come to Davos doesn’t contrast with his faux-populist branding, and Trump responds:

So when I decided to come to Davos, I didn’t think in terms of elitists or globalists. I think I thought in terms of lots of people that want to Read More Here