There’s been lots of head scratching over Trump’s hostile behavior toward the Australian PM during their recent phone call, which Trump cut short after angrily denouncing a prior agreement to take in stranded refugees. I saw a theory on Twitter from Karin Robinson (@karinjr) that sounds more plausible to me than other theories I’ve seen bandied about. Here it is in paragraph form:
You guys: I have a theory about Trump’s weirdly angry call with Australian PM that’s so stupid & implausible I’m almost sure it’s true. Turnbull has famously cracked down on immigration himself and is from the right of center party in Australian politics. BUT He is the leader of a what’s called “the Liberal Party”. Trump didn’t have anyone from the State department on the call. He had Bannon & his son in law Kushner.
I reckon he vaguely heard Turnbull was head of “the Australian Liberals” and thought that meant he’d be a lefty… Maybe he even heard Turnbull had been drawn into immigration ban controversies in his country, without bothering to learn on which side. In short, I consider it not only possible but likely that the President of the United States does not know and is not given basic facts about the world, and is making snap, angry judgments based not only on absence of knowledge but wild overconfidence despite lack of it.
It really could be something that dumb. That’s the scary part.