When hosting SNL, Donald Trump ‘struggled to read,’ says former cast member. Can the President read?

The President is “a moron,” says former SNL cast member Taran Killam. That may be true. But can he read?

When Donald Trump hosted Saturday Night Live in 2015, none of the regulars were happy about it, according to an interview with Killam in Brooklyn Magazine.

The actor is now performing in Hamilton as King George.

"It was not fun, and most of the cast and writers were not excited to have him there," said Killam. "I didn’t get the feeling that he was excited to be there, and it felt like a move for ratings from both sides."

But here's an observation from Killam about Trump that brings us to a serious question.

Can Donald Trump read?


"What you see is what you get with him, really," he said. "I mean, there was no big reveal. He struggled to read at the table read, which did not give many of us great confidence. Didn’t get the jokes, really. He’s just a man who seems to be powered by bluster."

It's an interesting question, which has been asked before. In news reports of how briefings unfolded before recent air strikes on Syria, multiple accounts say Trump asked for more pictures, no text.

It's not the first time such observations have made it into the news.

Nerding Out with Taran Killam on Hamilton, Get Out, and his Post-SNL Career [Brooklyn, via THR]

Notable Replies

  1. In all fairness the SNL writers didn't make much of an effort to keep Trump's dialogue
    under 140 characters.

  2. Along those same lines, this was pretty revealing.

  3. If he was totally illiterate maybe, but you'd be surprised how far grossly incompetent people can coast with the right connections.

    We don't know how well he did in school because he never released his transcripts (despite demands that Obama do same). As for the rest of his career he never really even had to try hiding his poor reading skills since 2016 was the closest thing he ever had to a job interview.

  4. You'd be surprised what an illiterate person can hide, even in that kind of setting. They come up with all sorts of clever and inventive ruses to hide it.* That's especially true when a student is a legacy and a natural-born con man who has the money to pay other people to do the reading and writing for him.

    I don't think he's completely illiterate. I do think he's been aliterate for so long thanks to other people doing the reading for him that his reading comprehension skills degraded back to those of a 11-year-old (which, not unrelated, is roughly where his emotional development is arrested at).

    Note that he frequently claims that the last book he read was "All Quiet on the Western Front", a novel that's often assigned reading for adolescents (more so in military academies). The last book he read in full might very well have been that one in the 7th or 8th grade, and decades later it might be a struggle for him.

    [* some of his:

    • "This print is really small and I forgot my glasses."

    • "I'm a busy man and I'm always interrupted when I try to read."

    • "I'm not a lawyer|scientist|military officer -- maybe someone here can explain this document in layman's terms."

    • "I'm more of a visual and auditory thinker. Oral presentations and photos work better for me."]

  5. I can see that. Illiterate people and people who struggle with reading as adults often confide in and enlist the help of sympathetic family members (even if they don't secretly want to bang them).

    We should be terrified. It's arguable that a President's interest in reading once saved the planet from nuclear war, and here we are with a semi-literate president* who's always trying to prove what a macho guy he is and thinks nuclear proliferation is no big deal.

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