“Sorry losers and haters, however my I.Q. Is one of the highest possible -and girlfriend all recognize it! you re welcome don't feel so stupid or insecure, it's not your fault,” Donald trumped tweeted in 2013. | Alex Wong/Getty Images

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Trump fixates on IQ together a measure of self-worth

People who know Trump doubt his IQ obsession tribe in part from a desire come project photo of success, despite scattered business failings and allegations of incompetence.

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It was January 2004 and also Donald Trump was on the “Today Show” to encourage a brand-new reality TV series called “The Apprentice.”

Almost immediately after the interview began, Trump began bragging about the unrivaled intellect that the contestants who would contend for a task at among his companies.

“These room 16 brilliant people. Ns mean, they have close come 200 IQs, every one of them,” that told host Matt Lauer. “And some might be beautiful and some may not it is in beautiful. But everybody has actually an tremendous brain.”

It no the first time trump fixated on IQ together a measure of a person’s worth — or, together is generally the case, worthlessness. And it wouldn’t be the last. Fifteen year later, Trump, now president that the unified States, still uses IQ together a shorthand for intelligence, splitting the people in his orbit right into winners and also losers.

In private, follow to interviews through a half-dozen civilization close to him, Trump generally asserts that civilization he likes have genius-level IQs. At various points throughout his presidency, he’s told aides the Lockheed boy name CEO Marillyn Hewson and also Apple CEO Tim chef are high-IQ individuals, because that example, previous White house officials said. Trumped has also dubbed self a “very secure genius” on lot of occasions.

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And the chairman is fast to accuse his political adversaries of having low IQs, as he did once he repetitive North korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s criticism of former Vice chairman Joe Biden, among his leading democratic challengers.

“I was in reality sticking up because that Sleepy Joe Biden if on foreign soil. Kim Jong Un referred to as him a ‘low IQ idiot,’ and many other things, vice versa, I connected the quote the Chairman Kim as a lot softer ‘low IQ individual,’” Trump claimed Tuesday after the Biden campaign criticized him for tweeting during his pilgrimage to Japan that he smiled once Kim insulted Biden’s intelligence.

While the specific reason for Trump’s IQ obsession is challenging to nail down, people who know him doubt it tribe in component from his desire come project photo of success and also competence, despite scattered company failings and repeated allegations from doubters that he is incompetent. Trump card is also known for being thin-skinned. He regularly fires back at anyone that criticizes him with a barrage of insults, when simultaneously building himself up.

“I nothing think you have to put that on the couch to watch that someone who has such a continual need to develop himself up and also belittle anyone else must have some troubles with self-esteem,” claimed Trump biographer Gwenda Blair, that wrote a book about the trump card family. “It’s a lifelong theme for him.”

“Part that it comes from his insecurities about not being perceived as intelligent,” a former White home official added.

In current years, Trump has accused Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), actor Robert De Niro, Washington article staffers, former President George W. Bush, comedian Jon Stewart, Republican strategist rick Wilson, MSNBC hold Mika Brzezinski, and Rick Perry, now his energy secretary, of having low IQs.

He once argued he’d like to compare his IQ to that of then-Secretary that State Rex Tillerson, adding, “And I deserve to tell you that is going to win.” the privately mocked previous Attorney basic Jeff Sessions’ intelligence, follow to a previous White house official. Every the while, trump has asserted his Cabinet has actually the highest IQ of any type of assembled in history.

“Sorry losers and also haters, however my I.Q. Is just one of the highest -and friend all recognize it! please don"t feel so stupid or insecure, it"s no your fault,” trumped tweeted in 2013.

Just critical week, the president again described himself as an “extremely stable genius,” and also he has actually spent year insisting he has a high IQ score, despite he has never revealed the specific number. When a Twitter critic tested him in 2013 to prove his high IQ, Trump comment simply, “The highest, asshole!”

Democrats are significantly fed up v Trump"s surname calling, encouraging journalists to disregard it altogether and arguing it"s a authorize that the president isn"t serious about policy or governing.

Trump has actually been obsessing end IQ and also pedigree for decades, long prior to he moved to the White House. Barbara Res, a previous Trump company official, recalled the Trump used to brag around one the his executives graduating from Yale regulation School in ~ the height of the class, even though Yale legislation doesn’t location its students. Trump later made the same false assertion around Brett Kavanaugh.


“He always used to say that he had actually a an extremely high IQ,” Res added, recalling her decade-plus working alongside him.

Trump’s black-and-white check out of knowledge was developed long prior to psychologists taken on a more nuanced an interpretation of the term. In 1983, because that example, developmental psychologist Howard Gardner placed forward his concept of lot of intelligences, which stressed that people learn in plenty of different ways and also suggested IQ tests were as well narrow.

“Measuring someone’s intelligence is not just a issue of acquisition one test through a sharpened No. 2 pencil. Donald Trump came of age prior to that entirety notion, because that sure,” Blair said. “He’s still thinking in regards to that No. 2 pencil.”

Recently, however, IQ measurement has found increasing resonance among alt-right and white superior groups, who have connected IQ and also race to controversy for borders on immigrant from details ethnic groups.


Trump, that attended the Wharton school of service at the university of Pennsylvania, has an affinity for people who i graduated from reputation universities.

He warmed approximately his previous staff secretary, plunder Porter, once he learned that Porter attended Harvard University and also was a Rhodes scholar in ~ Oxford, follow to two civilization familiar v the matter. “This male is so smart,” he’d occasionally tell various other staffers the Porter. “He was a Rhodes Scholar!”

He was likewise impressed with the credentials of his two Supreme Court picks: Kavanaugh and also Neil Gorsuch. The president has actually regularly touted their Ivy league educations in conversations through allies, and White house aides believe attending a top-tier legislation school is one of Trump’s prerequisites for any type of future nominee to the high court.

Trump has additionally frequently discussed his so late uncle, a former physics professor in ~ the Massachusetts academy of Technology, calling him “a great, excellent genius,” critical year.

But trump card himself has long been reluctant to reveal any details around his very own schooling. Trump’s longtime fixer Michael Cohen told lawmakers in February the his boss consistently instructed him to pressure the fact TV star’s alma maters through letters warning of prison time if they released Trump"s grades.

“I’m talking around a male who declares himself brilliant, yet directed me come threaten his high school, his colleges and the College plank to never release his qualities or sat scores,” Cohen told the home Oversight Committee.

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The White home press office did no respond to a inquiry for comment, no one did the respond to an inquiry around Trump’s IQ score.

The president’s elitism stands in stark comparison to the central messages the his campaign, i beg your pardon promised to upend establishment Washington and sought come appeal to disaffected white working-class voters. However Trump’s advisers say the dichotomy functions in his favor, suggesting that the president’s service experience and also lavish lifestyle is among the points that makes him appeal to his base.

“He’s a populist in a way, yet he’s a populist only in terms of his policies,” said an additional former White home official. “His personal message has always had a real elitist flavor come it.”