Speed Reads

Circus Trumpsimus

Trump likes to go to depositions unprepared and then ignore his lawyers' advice

President Trump insists he wants to be interviewed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for the Russia probe, so NPR did a little digging into the president's many depositions past to get an idea of how that conversation may play out. A common theme in Trump's behavior was lack of preparation, as perfectly typified in this exchange from a 2016 deposition:

Baum: What did you do to prepare for the case today, for the deposition?

Trump: I would say virtually nothing. I — I spoke with my counsel for a short period of time. I just arrived here, and we proceeded to the deposition.

Baum: Thank you. So you didn't look at any documents or —

Trump: No, I didn't.

Baum: — anything. [NPR]

Trump also displayed a habit of disregarding his lawyers' advice, willingly and even boastfully answering questions to which they objected. His responses were sometimes contradictory: In one 2011 conversation, he first claimed to be involved in all the decision-making in his organization and then professed ignorance of individual decisions. Trump admitted inattention to pertinent legal documents, like the very deposition notice that had summoned him to appear.

The president was also rude to his interviewers. "I think they're stupid questions you're asking me," he said in the 2011 session. "I think you're asking very stupid questions." Perhaps the rumors that Trump is having trouble securing legal representation don't seem so stupid, though.