Trump has a record of helping candidates lose elections. That's probably not the kind of "help" any world leader wants from him.
Trump celebrated St. Patrick’s Day by hosting Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar and offering to work some of the electoral magic that has resulted in a string of defeats in this country.
Trump wrapped up the Thursday morning photo op in the Oval Office by answering an Irish reporter who asked if he would visit Ireland.
“Yeah, it could happen,” Trump replied.
“Before the election?” asked the reporter.
Trump turned to Varadkar and said, “Well, maybe, maybe if that helps.”
The prime minister’s reaction was, at best, unenthusiastic.
Trump’s expression of willingness to openly meddle in another country’s election, albeit jokingly, continues a long tradition of Trump embarrassing himself on the world stage. During a trip to France last year, for example, Trump made a public and cringe-inducing comment about French first lady Brigitte Macron’s body.
In Saudi Arabia, Trump bowed and curtsied while receiving the Order of Abdulaziz from the Saudi king. Before a host of world leaders at the United Nations, Trump threatened nuclear war by way of schoolyard taunts. When he needed to duck out of the G20 conference, Trump appointed his unqualified daughter to fill his seat.
More to the point, though, Trump’s offer to “help” the Irish prime minister sounds more like a threat given Trump’s record.
Just this week, Trump “helped” Republican candidate Rick Saccone to suffer a stunning defeat in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District, which Trump had won by 20 points in 2016. Since that humiliating loss, Republicans are privately acknowledging the imminent electoral disaster it portends.
In December, Trump has also “helped” alleged child molester Roy Moore in the Alabama special election to replace Jeff Sessions in the Senate. The month before, he “helped” fellow racist Ed Gillespie lose the gubernatorial race in Virginia. Trump warmly embraced and supported both of those candidates, and they both lost.
And of course Trump himself lost the popular vote for the White House by nearly 3 million votes.
Trump’s joking overture to a world leader shows that not only is he in denial about his own political toxicity, he’s actually deluded enough to think that he could be of “help” to a candidate in a foreign election.