Things That Matter

Trump Won’t Shut Up About Acing A Cognitive Test, But Just How Difficult Is The Test?

Looking back at my days back in school, I remember plenty of kids who bragged about their IQ results or how they’re smarter than everyone else. They wanted everyone to know they were a genius and that they had the hard data to prove it. I don’t remember ever taking an IQ test and I was always skeptical of those kids who said they were. I mean who’s parents had the time to be dragging their kids off to tests that in reality mean very little?

So when Trump claimed in an interview this week that he “aced” a “very hard” cognitive test, I couldn’t help but look back at my high school days. But I also wondered, “How hard could this mysterious cognitive test really be?”

Well, here’s a hint: it’s ridiculously easy.

Trump says he aced a cognitive test but what exactly does that mean?

On Fox News Sunday, in an interview with Chris Wallace, President Trump bragged about acing a test that proves just how incredible and smart he is. There’s only one issue – it’s not an IQ test and it’s not meant to be difficult unless you suffer from a cognitive disability.

Also, once again Trump blatantly lied about the test and what it is. He said he “answered all 35 questions correctly” on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, which actually has just 30 questions. That means the president was giving himself credit for filling out the top five lines of the test: his name, education, sex, date of birth and the current date.

Though this shouldn’t come as a surprise from a president who has uttered more than 20,000 falsehoods or mischaracterized claims since taking office. Though with this particular case, it’s more likely that he’s misrepresenting about how hard they were, in order to look “smarter” than Joe Biden.

The claim came during an interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace – which was full of other interesting tidbits.

Not even including the whole cognitive test topic, Trump’s Sunday interview with Fox News was a doozy. Chris Wallace – the only slightly less bias anchors at the network – didn’t give Trump the softball interview that he was probably expecting.

Wallace challenged Trump on everything from his poor performance in polls regarding the November election – including one from Fox News itself – to his poor handling to the Coronavirus pandemic and racial inequality.

So what is this test Trump claims to have done so well at?

The test is called the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), and was created by the neurologist Dr Ziad Nasreddine in 1996. The test was created to help diagnose cognitive difficuties in those experiencing some form of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Therefore, if you’re not suffering from either of those conditions then the test is literally meant to be easy.

Talking to MarketWatch, the test’s creator stressed that the test “is supposed to be easy for someone who has no cognitive impairment.” He also added that this is not an IQ test and has no bearing on how skilled a person is. Sorry to break it to you Donald.

However, Trump is right about the start of the test being very easy. But when it comes to the last five questions, his claim that they’re “very hard” is unsettling (although not surprising) in what it reveals about his relationship with reality.

Here are a few examples of questions on the test, how well can you do?

Lets start off right where the test starts off: with these simple activities meant to demonstrate your cognitive abilities. It’s not challenging at all, unless, of course, you’re suffering from a cognitive disability.

The first question involved drawing a line between numbers and their equivalent letters (1 to A, A to 2, 2 to B and so on). Then you have to draw a cube, and a clock at 10 past 11. I will say it took me a minute to understand exactly what I had to do here – blame it on not seeing an actual clock in probably years – but once I realized what I needed to do, it was done in a few seconds. Didn’t require no bigly geniusness to get it done.

This is supposedly the hardest part – according to Trump.

In Trump’s interview with Wallace, the president bets Wallace that he “couldn’t even answer the last five questions” of the test. But for a mentally healthy person, the last five questions should be as simple as the rest.

The fifth-to-last question on the test asks you to repeat a sentence out loud, before naming as many words as you can starting with F. In the following “abstraction” section, you have to spot the similarity between different objects such as trains and bicycles (modes of transport), or a watch and a ruler (measuring devices).

Next, you have to recall the random words that were included in the earlier memory section. This may be the part that’s easiest to trip over. And finally, for the orientation part of the test, you have to … say what the date is.

The now infamous elephant question.

If you’re lucky enough to not have any cognitive impairment, this part is also easy. There are three drawings – a lion, rhino and camel. As mentioned, there are a few versions of the test with very minor differences – for example, the test Fox News showed during the interview had an elephant on it (you can see it here), but the latest test has a rhino instead.

If you’re interested in trying out more questions of the test, you can find the full version here.

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Mount Rushmore Could Soon Get A Big Change If Donald Trump Gets His Way

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Mount Rushmore Could Soon Get A Big Change If Donald Trump Gets His Way

Saul Loeb / Getty Images

Few monuments are more American than Mount Rushmore. It’s a giant rock face carved into the likeness of four U.S. presidents. It’s massive, over-the-top, and was completely unnecessary. Not to mention the monument was built on land seized from Native Americans just years after being given to tribes as a reservation.

Despite this sordid history (or maybe because of it), Donald Trump has repeatedly made light of adding his face to the world-famous sculpture. And according to new reports, the White House has actually asked officials in South Dakota what the process would look like to have an additional president added to the monument.

The White House allegedly asked about having Donald Trump’s face added to the monument in South Dakota.

Over the weekend, the New York Times reported a Republican party official stated that a White House aide reached out to South Dakota’s governor’s, Kristi Noem, office with the question: “What’s the process to add additional presidents to Mount Rushmore.

The question apparently came up after, according to reports, the governor had greeted Trump on his recent visit to South Dakota with a 4-feet tall replica of the monument that already included his face as a fifth element.

Ok…what would that even look like? Is it possible?

Thanks to the angle of some of the photographs taken when Trump visited the memorial in July, it isn’t necessary to Photoshop what it might look like. Trump posed in such a way that he effectively added himself as a fifth figure on the monument. But just in case you wondering – people have already taken to Twitter to share their mockups of an altered Mount Rushmore.

In June, Mount Rushmore National Memorial chief of interpretation and education, Maureen McGee-Ballinger, told the Sioux Falls Argus Leader that it was not possible to add a fifth president to the monument.

“The rock that surrounds the sculpted faces is not suitable for additional carving. When Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor of Mount Rushmore died in 1941, his son Lincoln Borglum closed down the project and stated that no more carvable rock existed,” McGee-Ballinger, whose office is part of the National Park Service.

In addition, Borglum chose those four presidents specifically “to represent the first 150 years of the history of the United States — the birth, growth and preservation of our country” – and “not to represent the individuals themselves.”

Over the years, many have called to add President Reagan or President Obama with little success. The addition of any of those presidents, or Trump, would be certain to ignite a political firestorm and infuriate their critics. On top of the partisan uproar it would be sure to cause, it would also likely meet with objection from Native American leaders, who have long decried the monument because it was built on land given to American Indian tribes through the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 before being seized by the federal government less than a decade later.

For his part, Trump has repeatedly denied the reports but when was Trump ever known for telling the truth?

As soon as the New York Times report came out, Donald Trump quickly tweeted a denial. However, he added that it would be a great idea, given his many accomplishments in office. When asked about the report, White House officials did not deny that it had taken place, and instead replied that Mount Rushmore is a federal, not state, monument.

However, let’s be clear, this isn’t the first time the president has raised the question of having himself added to the monument. During their first meeting when she was a Congresswoman, Kristi Noem (who is now governor of South Dakota) said he mentioned the idea. Trump allegedly told her it was “his dream” to have his face on Mount Rushmore. Later that year, Trump raised it again – this time in public, at a rally in Youngstown, Ohio, in July.

Trump obviously has an obsession with having his face added to the monument – even if experts agree that it wouldn’t be physically possible.

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Here Are Some Key Take-Aways From President Trump’s Disastrous Axios Interview

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Here Are Some Key Take-Aways From President Trump’s Disastrous Axios Interview

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

President Donald Trump recently did an interview with journalist Jonathan Swan for Axios and it was very bizarre. From bragging that the U.S. has a death rate lower than the world’s to claiming to have done more for African-Americans than John Lewis, the interview went off the rails from the beginning.

President Donald Trump’s latest interview is a wild ride in the worst way.

The president of the United States used an interview with Axios to try to push his narratives. From Covid to Ghislaine Maxwell to John Lewis to Russia, President Trump managed to spout a series of conspiracy theories and questionable statements. The interview has left many scratching their heads in disbelief.

One of the most bizarre moments is when Trump produced incoherent charts trying to change the Covid response narrative.

First, President Trump tells Jonathan Swan that the average 1,000 daily deaths and daily 65,000 infections “is what it is.” The president further argued that the country was doing everything it could to get it as under control as possible.

President Trump also tried to continue pushing the false narrative that the U.S. is doing the best with testing. As it stands, it takes days for some people to get their test results back, which makes contact tracing difficult. Contact tracing is one of the most important tools to control the virus that has already killed more than 155,000 people in the U.S.

On Representative John Lewis, President Trump was less than kind.

When asked how history would remember him for not attending Rep. John Lewis’ funeral, Trump began about how Rep. Lewis didn’t attend his inauguration. In fact, Trump called is a “big mistake.” He continued by saying Rep. Lewis should have attended his State of the Union speeches as well.

The truly stunning moment was President Trump diminishing the important contributions Rep. Lewis made to this country. Instead of acknowledging Rep. Lewis’ hard-won victories for African-Americans.

“I did more for the Black community than anybody with the possible exemption of Abraham Lincoln,” President Trump claimed. “Whether you like it or not.”

“You believe that you did more than Lyndon Johnson who passed the Civil Rights Act,” Swan asked in disbelief.

“Yeah because I got prison reform,” Trump shot back. He then continued asking Swan how the Civil Rights Acts has worked out.

He also doubled down on his comments wishing Ghislaine Maxwell well.

Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested for her role in the Jeffery Epstein child sex ring. When first asked by reporters, President Trump wished her well and acknowledged that he knew her and met her several times when living in Florida. When Swan told him that she had been arrested on charges of child sex trafficking, Trump acted obliviously.

President Trump said he wasn’t sure about that fact almost trying to ignore the facts. Swan pushed back reminding Trump that Maxwell was indeed in prison for child sex trafficking. Ignoring Swan Trump says he wishes her well because of Epstein’s death.

You can watch the full 37-minute interview below.

Get comfy. It’s a wild ride, y’all.

READ: The Trump Administration Raised Fees For Immigration Cases Including For Refugees

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