That has been part of his ethos since he began giving media interviews dating back to the 1980s.
But during the 2015 and 2016 presidential campaign, the public began taking notice that Trump could also say damaging things that hurt people beyond the usual political discourse.
It is difficult to narrow down the nuttiest things that Trump has said over the years, but I will try to give you the top five remarkable “words of wisdom” – yes, I am kidding – that Trump has shared.
Did He Just Say Inject Bleach?
Number one has to be the bleach comment.
It was April 2020, during the height of the pandemic, and the American people were scared. Friends and family were being diagnosed as positive for the sickness and people were dying.
Everyone was starved for leadership at the highest level that would protect them from the rages of the pandemic.
It is not clear why Trump adopted the bleach hypothesis. That infamous day, the former president was part of a briefing that was examining whether sunlight could affect the virus and a medical spokesman had informed the press that disinfectants such as bleach could kill the coronavirus on surface areas.
This gave Donald Trump his infamous brainstorm.
“And then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning. Because you see it gets in the lungs, and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So, it would be interesting to check that,” Trump told the media.
People May Have Tried to Take Bleach
Some people listened and took the advice literally, even though Trump later said he was being sarcastic. After this statement, accidental poisonings from bleach and other disinfectants went up 121 percent from the previous year.
Making Fun of Disabled People
Next would have to be Trump’s harangue against a disabled journalist. We know Trump hates the news media, but this insult obviously went too far. In 2015, Trump targeted New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski, who has arthrogryposis, a congenital condition affecting the joints. Kovaleski’s condition limits the use of his arms. Trump had disagreed with something the reporter had said about 9/11, so he mocked Kovaleski’s movement at a rally. “Now the poor guy – you ought to see the guy,” Trump said.
Donald Trump later claimed he never knew what Kovaleski looked like, but the damage was done, and the real estate developer and reality television star was pilloried with criticism from all corners.
Insulting McCain and All Prisoners of War
You likely know that the late Senator and 2008 presidential candidate John McCain was one of Trump’s biggest enemies. In 2015, at a leadership summit in Ames, Iowa, Trump took his hate to a new level. McCain spent five and a half years in captivity in North Vietnam after his airplane was shot down in battle. He was beaten and tortured by prison guards.
“He’s not a war hero,” Trump said. “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
Not only had Donald Trump insulted McCain, but he also disparaged every American veteran who was a prisoner of war. That’s horrible.
Demands to Know Why the U.S. Can’t Use Nuclear Weapons
War was on Trump’s mind at many times during his presidency and campaign. But once he reportedly asked one of his advisers at least three times, “Why can’t we use nuclear weapons?” Trump supposedly said this to an unnamed foreign policy adviser who worked for the campaign in 2016 and the incident was shared with MSNBC host Joe Scarborough.
In Trump’s defense, this was hearsay from one of his main opponents in the leftwing media, but if true, it showed that Trump had blatant disregard for the “no first use” theory of nuclear weapons strategy.
War Against Women
Donald Trump is also known for insulting women and accusations of sexual misconduct. Three statements Trump made during the campaign stick out about women. One was the Access Hollywood tape in which he talked about “grabbing women” by a part of their anatomy.
Before that recording was leaked, Trump referred to the looks and appearance of presidential candidate Carly Fiorina. “Look at that face!” Trump exclaimed. “Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!”
Another target was journalist Megyn Kelly who asked Trump about his insults toward women at a debate during the campaign. After the forum, Trump had this to say about Kelly. “She gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions,” Donald Trump told CNN the day after the debate. “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever. In my opinion, she was off base.”
You may have others so be sure to share those in the comment section below. Donald Trump is running for president so that means for the next several months he will be talking to the media and writing outrageous things on Truth Social.
Be ready for more insults and questionable comments. We may have to update this list to include more so stay tuned.
Author Expertise and Experience
Serving as 19FortyFive’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.