Donald Trump’s obnoxious penchant for slapping his name on every building he comes into contact with is well known and well mocked. His egomania was a running joke long before he set his beady little eyes on the Oval Office, and has only grown worse since he won the presidency. Now, we’ve finally been given a little insight into why he insists on emblazoning his reviled surname on all of his properties.
According to three sources familiar with the topic who spoke to Politico, Trump wondered why George Washington didn’t name Mount Vernon, his famous, historical estate, after himself.
“If he was smart, he would’ve put his name on it. You’ve got to put your name on stuff or no one remembers you,” Trump said during a tour of the historic estate that he took with French President Emmanuel Macron last April.
It is perhaps a bit odd to learn that Trump thinks about legacy beyond the span of one’s life since he has already succeeded in ensuring that the history books will remember him as a cruel, incompetent man. He will be remembered surely, but in the same way in which all of the worlds greatest monsters are remembered: as a cautionary tale.
Washington didn’t need buildings named after himself to ensure his remembrance, his selfless dedication to his country — something Trump knows nothing about — did that for him.
According to the same account, Mount Vernon President and CEO Doug Bradburn was the VIP tour guide for the world leaders and pointed out that Washington ended up getting the American capital named after himself. Trump laughed and called it a “good point.”
Despite Bradburn’s best efforts, he couldn’t get President Trump interested in Washington’s house, and Macron and his wife Brigitte apparently knew far more about the history of the site than Trump. Later, Bradburn described the Trump tour as “truly bizarre.”
President Trump seemed unimpressed with the historic Virginia estate, and criticized numerous structural elements of the 11,000 square foot house, calling the rooms too cramped, the staircases too narrow. He even went on to criticize some of the incredibly old floorboards as uneven. He boasted that he himself would have built a better Mount Vernon at a fraction of the cost.
True to form, the only subject that seemed to elicit real interest from Trump was the topic of Washington’s wealth. Trump asked if he was “really rich” and was informed that Washington was indeed a very wealthy man, perhaps the wealthiest living American during his lifetime.
“That is what Trump was really the most excited about,” a source told Politico. The only other part of the tour that seemed to elicit genuine engagement from our infamously ignorant and uncurious president was the bed in which Washington died.
“A good bed to die in,” said Trump, providing a perfectly strange end to a deeply weird tour and reminding us once again that there is nothing normal about the man who currently occupies the Oval Office.
If Washington could see the man who inherited his noble office he would be ashamed.