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American President Donald Trump is not an idiot. To say otherwise would be intemperate and incorrect, and beneath the standards of rational discourse.

You, however, might think yourself an idiot if you did any of the following things, all of which occurred in an interview Mr. Trump gave the Associated Press on Friday:

Loudly proclaim that a major institution with which you will be obliged to work is "obsolete," thereby upsetting indispensable allies. Then, a few months later, explain that, when you said this vital organization was "obsolete," you actually didn't know much about NATO – sorry, the unnamed body in question – and, now that you know more, you don't think NATO (whoops) is obsolete.

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Loudly and repeatedly accuse an economic competitor of rigging its prices and make it a top priority to immediately put a stop to it when you, you know, get elected or something. And then when, let's just say you were elected President of the United States, you meet with the leader of this economic competitor, and you discover that calling Mr. X (not his real name) a currency manipulator is counterproductive because you really need him to be an ally in order to stop Mr. K (not his real name) from launching a nuclear Armageddon (its real name), for instance. So now you have to say that this unnamed place named China is not a currency manipulator, after saying over and over that it is.

Write a list of mission-critical tasks that need to be accomplished at your new place of work, and choose an arbitrary time frame – your first 100 days on the job, for argument's sake – for their completion. And then accomplish almost none of the tasks on the list and argue that whoever chose that time frame (you) was crazy to do so, and wonder why people keep bringing it up.

Tell someone that you never watch CNN two minutes after telling them you watch CNN.

Be asked about virtually any subject at all and provide an answer that somehow involves Hillary Clinton and the U.S. Electoral College system.

Mr. Trump is no idiot. But he is not very good at being President. This week, he will have to prevent the fiscal shutdown of the government he leads. Funding will run out on Friday. His 100th day in office is on Saturday.

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