One of the most jarring behaviors of this presidency is the way in which people who were previously thought to take pride in their intelligence and expertise — William Barr, for example — have revealed their inner Donald Trumps. They don’t so much imitate their president as seek to emulate the traits that have brought him to the Oval Office. What are those, precisely?

Trump’s boorish bullying, for one. The manner in which he spits his opponent’s lines back at them as if a stinger were attached to each syllable. And in those moments when he is challenged, Trump often cloaks his ignorance with sophomoric humor, deployed as retaliation for the eggheads who dared to test his knowledge in the first place.

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