If you've been paying attention to the politics and policies of President Trump at least over the last two years, you'll notice something very strange has been happening, particularly this week.
On Tuesday, Trump met with lawmakers from both parties at the White House in front of the press for an extended period of time in which he appeared to agree on building a border wall, ending chain migration and the visa lottery system. However, when Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., brought up the proposal of a "clean" bill to reauthorize the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, the president seemed enthusiastic, by responding, "I have no problem. I would like to do that."
He continued. "We'll do DACA, and then we can certainly start comprehensive immigration reform the following afternoon."
The White House had to then clarify Trump's comments by emphasizing that the president still opposes legislation that protects the 800,000 Dreamers currently living in the United States if it doesn't include border security measures, such as funding for the border wall. A "clean" DACA bill would essentially address protecting Dreamers, and that's it. For many in Trump's base, particularly supporters who hitched their hopes on Trump for curbing both illegal and legal immigration, Trump's bipartisan meeting was more than alarming.
On Thursday morning, Trump directed his attention to a House bill to reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that gives intelligence officials permission to spy and monitor communications of noncitizens outside the United States. Following a "Fox & Friends" segment on Thursday discussing Congress voting on a six-year reauthorization of FISA, Trump called the move into question, posting on Twitter, "This is the act that may have been used, with the help of the discredited and phony Dossier, to so badly surveil and abuse the Trump Campaign by the previous administration and others?"
“House votes on controversial FISA ACT today.” This is the act that may have been used, with the help of the discredited and phony Dossier, to so badly surveil and abuse the Trump Campaign by the previous administration and others?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2018
Less than two hours after his initial tweet, Trump tweeted, "With that being said, I have personally directed the fix to the unmasking process since taking office and today’s vote is about foreign surveillance of foreign bad guys on foreign land. We need it! Get smart!"
With that being said, I have personally directed the fix to the unmasking process since taking office and today’s vote is about foreign surveillance of foreign bad guys on foreign land. We need it! Get smart!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2018
Many of Trump's supporters will continue to give the president a pass on this, possibly citing that he's not a politician and an outsider, yet it only exposes that the president simply does not understand his own policies. It also shows that he doesn't comprehend how Washington works, considering he can't immediately rebuke Democratic efforts to pass a "clean" DACA bill without the help of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., or display his own ignorance on FISA by tweeting out his critical view of a bill that would reform it without consulting one of his aides first.
This raises the question, how can Trump attempt to drain the swamp if he doesn't know how it works and operates? Trump boasts about having a high IQ and being "like, really smart." But this week he's been intellectually lazy, at best, or just plain stupid, at worst. He's making too many unforced errors in his presidency, but this week might have been his worst from a policy standpoint.
Siraj Hashmi is a commentary video editor and writer for the Washington Examiner.