Reportedly, Donald Trump is not a big fan of history. During a trip to Mount Vernon last year where he was accompanied by French President Emmanuel Macron, Trump expressed surprise at America’s first President George Washington not naming the historic property after himself, according to Politico.
Three sources familiar with the tour told the publication that Trump seemed incredulous that Washington was not interested in naming the property after himself.
“If he was smart, he would’ve put his name on it,” Trump reportedly said. “You’ve got to put your name on stuff or no one remembers you.”
At this point, the VIPs’ tour guide for the evening, Mount Vernon president and CEO Doug Bradburn, reminded the president that the capital city was named after Washington.
“Good point,” Trump reportedly said with a laugh.
According to Bradburn, not only did President Trump have little knowledge about the property and the surrounding areas, his ignorance was so stark that Bradburn had to work extra hard to sustain his interest in the 45-minute guided deluxe tour. The CEO of the property later described his visit as “truly bizarre” to his associates. Bradburn said the Macrons had a much better idea of Mount Vernon’s history than Trump.
In fact, Bradburn decided to explain the importance of the historic property in a language the president understands best, with a source telling Politico that the CEO “was desperately trying to get [Trump] interested in” Washington’s house.
“[Bradburn told the president] that Washington was an 18th-century real-estate titan who had acquired property throughout Virginia and what would come to be known as Washington, D.C.”
At one point, Trump asked Bradburn if George Washington was “really rich,” according to another source familiar with the visit. Bradburn told Trump that the first president was indeed very rich in his time, thanks largely to his mini real estate empire.
“That is what Trump was really the most excited about,” the source told the publication.
— The Hill (@thehill) April 10, 2019
Sources claimed that although the president was impressed by George Washington’s skill as a real estate mogul, he was not so interested in how the first president turned a simple single-story home into a sprawling 11,000 square foot mansion. Trump allegedly complained about the mansion not having been built properly, noting that the floorboards were uneven, while the rooms were too small.
Other aides who have known Trump for a while said that they were not surprised, pointing out that his supporters didn’t care if Trump was well-versed in history.
“His supporters don’t care,” the person said, adding that they took pleasure in “the fact that the liberal snobs are upset.”