When I heard how Trump was supporting King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman as they expressed their outrageous and disgusting denial that they had any knowledge of the planning or execution of the murder of Mr. Khashoggi I thought that aside from Trump being a craven self-serving autocrat, if he even halfway believes this he is a chump. The little rhyme gave me the idea for this column.

Of course Americans ought to be terrified that we have a president who is either unmoored from reality or is knowingly enabling despots for reasons unbeknownst to us. I can only imagine what career professionals in our intelligence agencies and in the State Department think of his unwillingness to admit the facts they present to him. They have to be wondering why. Is he a gullible fool or in thrall to leaders of our adversaries?

This isn’t the least bit amusing. The mere fact that anyone would even consider the President of the United States is a chump should be chilling to all of us, and all of our allies.

I was sitting with a friend from the Netherlands having coffee yesterday morning and telling her about what I planned to write about and the title I planned to use. I had to explain the meaning of the slang expression “chump” for her.

Americans know that a chump is a gullible person who is usually considered a fool who is easily led to believe outlandish tall tales or outright lies. Chumps are frequently mocked and can be taken advantage of.

Who hasn’t heard someone say “don’t be such a chump” or even said it themselves?

Carnies call these people rubes. These are people who believe they can easily win rigged carnivals games and then spend far more money than the prize is worth before they give up or manage by luck to toss the rings over the bottle. Originally rube was synonymous with country bumpkin, an unsophisticated rural dweller, because many carnivals were parts of county fairs. However, I have seen many big city folks taken in by carnies at the county fair we used to go to every summer.

Con artists call chumps “marks.” These are people whose greed and naiveté lead them to be easy to be taken advantage of. Ironically, Trump has proved to be a masterful con man taking advantage of millions of marks who believe his own outrageous lies, yet he has been a mark himself.

Another word for chump is someone who is easily snookered, meaning someone effortlessly enticed, duped, cheated, or tricked into a trap they will regret. The word comes from a particularly difficult ball placement in the table game of snooker.

Is Trump a chump, a rube, a mark, and someone who is easily snookered? His behavior suggests that he may be.

I am sure that the Russian, Korean, and Arabic language has some colorful words to describe how easily they have been able to snooker, trick, deceive, mislead, and manipulate Trump.

The National Security Agency (NSA) must be listening in on conversations between government officials around the world. I am sure they are hearing lots of talk about how gullible Donald Trump is.

I wish I knew the slang words Putin uses to describe his ongoing manipulation of Trump. Our spies will need fluent translators to understand the many insulting slang Russian versions of Трамп настолько доверчив (Trump is so gullible).

Kim Jung-Un is probably telling his top military brass that he can hardly believe how easy it was to put one over on Trump who is denying the proof the U.S. spy agencies have shown him that North Korea is continuing to build missile sites. In polite Korean it’s 트럼프는 너무 속기 쉽다.

Mohammad bin Salman was probably overheard saying a less mannerly version of  ترامب ساذج جدا , probably using a more colorful version of an Arabic word for gullible as he feasts on a delicious meal of kofta kebabs, delicately fragrant basmati rice, while sipping on cardamom-flavoured coffee served with dates.

Perhaps Trump isn’t a chump at all.

Perhaps Putin has blackmail material on him. It’s possible Kim has promised Trump that he can build a Trump resort on the North Korean oceanfront, or more likey Trump is just tying to save face after touting that his great negitioating prowess with his dear friend Kim. And with the vast wealth of the Saudi royal family, who knows what lucre they could have promised him? Perhaps they promised to make him a real billionaire when he leaves office.

Trump may be a chump, a president whose judgment is impaired to the level of being a mental dysfunction. Or he may be an evil manipulative narcissist and wannabe dictator. Or he may be some of both.

Related:

Heather “Digby” Parton: Mob boss gone mad: Trump longs to go after Clinton, apologizes for muderers” choice excerpts:

Autocrats and dictators must be very relieved to know that all they have to do is hand over the envelope and the American capo di tutti capi will look the other way when you “take care of business” — if you know what I mean.

Happy Thanksgiving, America. Your president has just proved beyond a reasonable doubt that he is operating as a reckless, lawless mob boss who seeks to use the power of his office for money and revenge. (And he’s personally making more than a little scratch for himself in the process.) If that sounds like the work of an organized crime family running a shakedown, that’s because it is. “Nice little democracy you have here — be a shame if anything happened to it.”

“Trump, the stunted stuntman,” Hal Brown, Capitol Hill Blue

“Dissecting Trump’s Failed Presidency,” by Hal Brown, Capitol Hill Blue

More about Trump and his standing by Saudi Arabia even if MSB ordered Khashoggi killed, including Trump’s formal statement, from HUFFPOST

“Trump embraces a murdering Saudi Crown Prince,” by Doug Thompson, Capitol Hill Blue

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