While Samantha Bee last year started a conspiracy theory that was meant to be a joke about Donald Trump’s inability to read, there are still quite a few people who point to evidence that Donald Trump is, in actuality, probably unable to read beyond a fourth grade level. There could be many reasons for this. Probably the first and most important reason would be a lack of intellectual curiosity. However, there are other, more physical reasons for why Donald Trump may have difficulty with reading.
The first reason why Donald Trump may genuinely not be able to read well is that he could have dyslexia. The Mayo Clinic describes dyslexia as a learning disorder which can make reading extremely difficult because of problems identifying speech sounds and not understanding how these sounds relate to words and letters. While there is no cure for dyslexia, there are many things children and adults can do to help them to deal with these issues.
A second reason why Donald Trump may have reading difficulties is due to a disorder that is known as Irlen Syndrome. It is worth noting that Irlen Syndrome is not an optical problem, but is a perceptual processing disorder instead. The brain has a difficult time processing visual information with this particular syndrome.
So, why do people think that Donald Trump has serious difficulties with reading? Beyond Samantha Bee’s pretend conspiracy theory about Donald Trump, as reported by Huffington Post, it is worth noting that Trump never reads books from cover to cover and has never had shelves of books in his office. When he was asked whether he reads books, the New Republic reported that he said he only skims and reads small portions.
“I read passages, I read areas, chapters, I don’t have the time.”
The Washington Post also reported that Donald Trump says he never reads.
“I never have. I’m always busy doing a lot. Now I’m more busy, I guess, than ever before.”
The vast majority of past presidents have been avid readers, and even George W. Bush once engaged in a reading war with Karl Rove to see which one of them could read the most books.
Marc Fisher, the senior editor of the Washington Post, once asked Donald Trump how he was preparing to possibly become president and asked him if he had read any of the presidential biographies. Trump replied that he had never read a biography before.
“He paused for an unusually long time and his voice became almost tender, and he said, ‘No, I’ve never read a biography, but I’ve always wanted to.'”
— OpieRadio Show (@OpieShow) November 1, 2016
Donald Trump has said that he doesn’t feel the need to read much because is able to make the right decisions already, “with very little knowledge other than the knowledge I already had, plus the words ‘common sense,’ because I have a lot of common sense and I have a lot of business ability.”
When Trump recently received executives from the steel, oil, and retail industries, he was asked by one of the executives if he would accept a report. Donald Trump apparently doesn’t read reports, either.
“He said, ‘I’d love to be able to send you.’ Oh boy, he’s got a lengthy report, hundreds of pages. I said, ‘Do me a favor. Don’t send me a report. Send me, like, three pages.'”
Donald Trump’s advisers affirm that he refuses to read any reports or briefings if he finds them to be too lengthy and that most of the time he will just look quickly at the very first page. Trump also affirmed with Marc Fisher that he “wouldn’t be reading any big reports” when he was preparing to become president.
The David Pakman Show has posted a 12-minute video which thoroughly investigates whether Donald Trump can actually read beyond a fourth grade level in actuality. Tony Schwartz, who was Trump’s ghostwriter for The Art of the Deal, said that he understood that Donald didn’t have much of an attention span and would be shocked if he were to learn that Donald Trump had ever read a single book cover to cover over the course of his entire adult life.
“That’s why he prefers TV as his first news source. Information comes in easily digestible sound bites. I seriously doubt that Trump has ever read a book straight through in his adult life.”
What about all of those Donald Trump tweets you read on Twitter? How does he post those if he doesn’t read, you might ask? His advisers have said that he doesn’t really even use computers and dictates his tweets to people that are in another room. Trump himself said he does this, and even tweeted, “I dictate my tweets to my executive assistant and she posts them. Time is money.”
When Donald Trump was guest host once on Saturday Night Live, those that worked with him affirmed that he had a genuine inability to even read the script, as Pete Davidson relates.
“He’s like, he doesn’t even know how to read. So during the table read, before he had to read each line, and he’s the host, he would go, ‘I’m not gonna say this. I think I’m gonna say it the way I want to say it. Is that okay?’ And everybody’s like, what?”
Donald Trump also is well known for having difficulty reading teleprompters. And on June 16, 2016, at a deposition, he was asked if he had ever reviewed leases. He said that he signed leases, but had never reviewed those leases. On video, he was asked if he could read part of one of the leases and describe what his understanding of it was.
In the painfully awkward moments that followed, Donald Trump was silent and was unable to read the lease. He explained that the print was too small and that he didn’t have glasses with him, but it is also worth noting that Trump has never been seen anywhere at any time wearing or holding glasses.
What do you think of the evidence and do you think Donald Trump is able to properly read?
[Featured Image by Susan Walsh/AP Images]