During last year’s state visit by Emmanuel Macron, the very intellectually curious—perhaps the most intellectually curious man of all time? some say so!—Donald Trump took the French president on a guided tour of Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington. Apparently, Trump wasn’t too impressed!
Politico has a behind-the-scenes account of the two men’s “truly bizarre” visit to Mount Vernon, where they were shown around by the historic site’s president and CEO Doug Bradburn, who reportedly gave it his absolute best shot but struggled to engage a man who prides himself on his total lack of nuanced knowledge about history or, for that matter, anything else. Trump apparently had some feedback for George Washington on his branding strategy—not so good, according to our current president!
“If he was smart, he would’ve put his name on it,” Trump said, according to three sources briefed on the exchange. “You’ve got to put your name on stuff or no one remembers you.”
The VIPs’ tour guide for the evening, Mount Vernon president and CEO Doug Bradburn, told the president that Washington did, after all, succeed in getting the nation’s capital named after him. Good point, Trump said with a laugh.
Trump also apparently asked whether Washington was “really rich” (he was) and was unimpressed by Mount Vernon itself:
The rooms, Trump said, were too small, the staircases too narrow, and he even spotted some unevenness in the floorboards, according to four sources briefed on his comments. He could have built the place better, he said, and for less money.
Needs more pink marble and bronze escalators, too.