Late last night, MSNBC aired footage of Gates describing, to the staff of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, his initial meetings with Trump in December 2016 and March 2017.
The topic of their conversation: the role Trump, as a newly elected POTUS, could play in the advancement of science. Gates, ever the optimist, suggested that Trump focus on something big, like accelerating the search for an HIV vaccine.
According to Gates, Trump trotted out the widely-discredited, unscientific conspiracy theory that vaccines might cause autism. Gates reacted much like a parent to a misbehaving toddler, telling him "Don't do that."
On both occasions Trump "wanted to know if there was a difference between HIV and HPV." Gates's reaction was "to explain that those are rarely confused with each other." In other words, Gates politely told Trump to his face that he's woefully ignorant.
But that's not all.
Gates observed that Trump seemed a bit obsessed with the physical appearance of Gates's 20-year-old daughter. Gates's comment: "It was actually kind of scary how much he knew about my daughters's appearance. Melinda didn't like that too well."
Yeah, no kidding.
Gates mentioned that when he first met Trump, Trump spoke about himself in the third person, as in: "Trump hears that you don't like what Trump is doing." In the video Gates explains (in a tone that expresses amused contempt) that he thought: "Wow, you're Trump."
It's at times like this that it's impossible not to speculate how much better off the country would be a genuine self-made billionaire, like Gates, were running the country, rather than somebody who merely played a billionaire on television.