When hosting SNL, Donald Trump ‘struggled to read,’ says former cast member. Can the President read?

He certainly can’t speak above it.


I can see that. Illiterate people and people who struggle with reading as adults often confide in and enlist the help of sympathetic family members (even if they don’t secretly want to bang them).

We should be terrified. It’s arguable that a President’s interest in reading once saved the planet from nuclear war, and here we are with a semi-literate president* who’s always trying to prove what a macho guy he is and thinks nuclear proliferation is no big deal.


Has Trump actually written anything longer than 140 characters?


All personality conflicts aside, it’s really pretty amazing that an illiterate/dyslexic can still rise up to be the President of the United States.


He’s got ghost writers for anything above 140 characters (and sometimes below as well).

Maybe his limited reading comprehension is the reason behind his seeming lack of intellectual curiosity and lack of passion for learning… or it could be the other way around.


Functional aliteracy blends into functional illiteracy. Functional Il and aliteracy don’t mean someone cannot identify a word, but doesn’t comprehend what they read at a (usually) 9th grade level and can’t contextualize it. Give him a Little Golden Book or My Pet Goat and he’s probably okay, though he’ll get bored because that is not part of his self-image. But hand him a short story or a legal document or a briefing and he’s not going to summarize it well or be able to integrate today’s document with the one from three weeks ago.

So… here’s my theory, which is very much from a distance and is not an official diagnosis under any circumstances, but… Mary Trump had two sets of children – the elder three were 11, 8 and 4 years older, and his younger brother was two years behind him. Baby Donnie spent those first two years as the baby of the family, with the elder three old enough to dote on him, and his next elder sibling was a 1940s girl, with all of that socialization. But Robert came two years later, at or near the age when sibling rivalry gets most intense, when toddlers are at their most narcissistic. (And one theory of NPD is that the developing mind gets stuck at an emotional stage, due to trauma, neglect or the child’s perception of rejection.) Parenting of the late 30s and 40s tended to be somewhat cold and rigid, so there’s a good chance that baby Donny experienced his brother’s arrival as a rejection and replacement. We know that Donny was the only kid of the five sent off to boarding school, and sent to a military school at or near puberty. If all of the kids were sent to boarding school, it wouldn’t be extraordinary, but to only send one? Were they trying to separate Donny from Robert? (It wouldn’t be Maryanne or Fred, because they would have both been off to college, and Elizabeth was nearly out of high school, so Robert’s the only one who might have been vulnerable.) Or was Mary just done? Hard to tell, but parenting an indifferent student after three fairly clever ones is exhausting.

Given the time, if he was both dyslexic and had a level of attention deficit (also extremely possible), the contemporary advice was that the kid needs discipline, not special education. Thus, military school. But private schools are equally or more likely to keep students whose parents are good about signing checks. Which the elder Fred seems to have been.


And the ghostwriter he hired for The Art of the Deal has publicly stated “I seriously doubt that Trump has ever read a book straight through in his adult life.” Presumably that includes Trump’s own autobiography.


Strangers did this story on a teacher who was illiterate for a very long time, so, like the others, this comes as no surprise to me.


The story from his unauthrorised biographers goes that little Donny sought attention from his parents in negative ways as a child. The on-going dynamic was that Fred would get upset with his misbehaviour but then Mary would intervene and save him from punishment – both parents giving him the attention he craved as desperately then as he does now. Then when he was 10 or 11 he apparently did something so terrible that Mary couldn’t save him and Fred shipped him off to a military academy. That’s where his career as a confidence artist really took off, probably as a survival mechanism.


Can we retire the age thing once and for all? He may well be dyslexic, but I taught learning disabled adults for four years, some of whom were respectably successful (if not rich).

The only ones who had trouble learning either didn’t have the time to devote to school, or hadn’t come to grips with their learning style – and weren’t willing to be introspective and work with the teacher on it.

For a lot of them the wake-up call was when they realised their grandkids took after them. They didn’t want their grandkids denied the opportunities they were.

Donnie could have hired an army of discreet tutors if he wanted, any time in his adult life. He’s chosen not to.

ETA: typos and grammar


Yeah I came to say Pete Davidson’s Take was far more scathing.


Really one only has to listen to him read from a teleprompter or other prepared text - it’s clearly difficult and awkward for him. He seems to read in short bursts of four to six words that become their own sentences, regardless (and unaware) of context, and it just destroys the coherence of his message. And now that I type that, it occurs to me that if someone were speaking the words in his ear and he was repeating them, rather than actually reading, that might be how they’d come out.

The way he talks about reading there, he doesn’t seem to realize that his own words indicate he doesn’t read, which itself is pretty telling. He’s so disconnected from reading that he doesn’t even know how to fake it.

He has, in the past, talked about how he dictates his own tweets. Presumably he at least reads a few on his own.

What I’ve read is that extreme anti-social behavior on little Donnie’s part (e.g. throwing rocks at a baby) got him shipped off. (The more you drill down into his life, the more it’s amazing that someone who spent a lifetime displaying disturbed behavior got to this position…)


I dont think that’s the proper frame at all. Rather, the office of POTUS has fallen so far, that even illiteracy is not a bar to entry.


He hired an army of discreet hair restorative specialists after all. #priorities


To add to all of your points, one of my parents was born in the mid-1920s and had dyslexia. The condition WAS known at the time, not as well as now, of course, but there were techniques for helping someone with dyslexia even back then. Especially at private schools in NYC.




The still of that video looks like a Samantha Bee tutorial on how to fart on Trump’s head.


seriously. this was months ago. if it comes out that trump can’t read or even has a reading disability, Samatha Bee should get all the damn credit for this.


This makes the demands for the birth certificate seem somehow more earnest.

Maybe no one read the long form out loud to Trump. Maybe his handlers kept telling him that is was a menu to a Luby’s.