President Trump is very proud that he knows what an elephant looks like, and he wants the world to know it. Trump has brought up multiple times how he “aced” a cognitive test administered at Walter Reed, including in an interview with Chris Wallace that aired on Sunday.
Wallace, one of the non-obsequious Fox News personalities, pointed out that the test isn’t particularly difficult. He cited one of the prompts, to simply identify a drawing of an elephant, as an example.
The elephant is, of course, the mascot of Trump’s Republican party. Elephants are a common pictorial example of the letter E in kindergarten classrooms, the star of Dumbo, and a zoo mainstay, including at the Smithsonian National Zoo, which gets most of its funding from the federal government Trump leads.
So the weird part isn’t that Trump got the question right; it’s that he is so damn proud of it.
WALLACE: Incidentally, I took the test too when I heard that you passed it.
TRUMP: Yeah, how did you do?
WALLACE: It’s not – well it’s not that hardest test. They have a picture and it says “what’s that” and it’s an elephant.
TRUMP: No no no…
TRUMP: You see, that’s all misrepresentation.
WALLACE: Well, that’s what it was on the web.
TRUMP: It’s all misrepresentation. Because, yes, the first few questions are easy, but I’ll bet you couldn’t even answer the last five questions. I’ll bet you couldn’t, they get very hard, the last five questions.
WALLACE: Well, one of them was count back from 100 by seven.
TRUMP: Let me tell you…
TRUMP: … you couldn’t answer — you couldn’t answer many of the questions.
WALLACE: Ok, what’s the question?
TRUMP: I’ll get you the test, I’d like to give it. I’ll guarantee you that Joe Biden could not answer those questions.
The test Trump took is the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), which Mashable pointed out is “designed as a rapid screening instrument for mild cognitive dysfunction.” It’s meant to help professionals evaluate different forms of cognitive decline, so “passing” the test — even if you get every question right — isn’t all that impressive because it’s not meant to be difficult for people with intact mental facilities.
That Trump thought the last five questions on the MoCA were “very hard” is actually a pretty embarrassing thing for him to say, and the greater indictment of Trump’s personality might be that he doesn’t seem smart enough to know that.