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Trump Called National-Security Officials 'Losers' 'Dopes And Babies' When They Tried To Teach Him Basic U.S. Diplomacy

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Trump called top national-security officials 'losers,' 'dopes and babies' when they tried to walk him through the basics of US diplomacy, an explosive new book says

tporter@businessinsider.com (Tom Porter)
Business InsiderJanuary 17, 2020, 8:58 AM EST
 
 
Rex Tillerson Donald Trump
Rex Tillerson Donald Trump

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

  • A July 2017 meeting between President Donald Trump and top national-security officials went disastrously wrong, according to an excerpt from a new book by two Washington Post reporters.

  • The officials hoped to teach Trump about the basics of America's global role, but the president grew irate and started insulting US military leaders, according to the excerpt of "A Very Stable Genius," set to be released Tuesday.

  • "I wouldn't go to war with you people," Trump reportedly told the officials, adding, "You're a bunch of dopes and babies."

  • There was stunned silence in the room, with some officials feeling "sick to their stomachs," the book's authors wrote.

  • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was the only official to stand up to the president that day, the authors said.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump hurled insults at top officials in an extraordinary outburst in a Pentagon meeting to educate the president about the US's role in the world, according to an excerpt of an explosive new book about the White House.

According to The Washington Post's excerpt from "A Very Stable Genius," written by the Post reporters Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig and set to be released on Tuesday, the incident took place in a secure meeting room called "the Tank" in July 2017.

The book said the meeting was convened by top members of Trump's national-security team, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who have all since left the administration.

The three men were reportedly concerned about Trump's ignorance of geography, history, and military strategy and wanted to bring him up to speed.

"Mattis, Cohn, and Tillerson and their aides decided to use maps, graphics, and charts to tutor the president, figuring they would help keep him from getting bored," Rucker and Leonnig wrote. "Mattis opened with a slide show punctuated by lots of dollar signs."

Trump, however, reportedly grew irate, demanding to know why the US wasn't seeking payment from allies in Europe and South Korea for military forces stationed there and berating top brass over the failures of US strategy in Afghanistan.

James Mattis and Donald Trump
James Mattis and Donald Trump

Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images

"You're all losers," Trump reportedly said. "You don't know how to win anymore."

The book said Trump launched into an astonishing personal attack on the officials.

"I wouldn't go to war with you people," Trump reportedly told them, adding, "You're a bunch of dopes and babies."

Describing the stunned silence in the room after the president's diatribe, the book said: "So many people in that room had gone to war and risked their lives for their country, and now they were being dressed down by a president who had not. They felt sick to their stomachs."

trump meeting
trump meeting

Oliver Douliery/Pool-Getty Images

According to the book, the only official who rebuked Trump was Tillerson, who interrupted the president when he said the US should make money from troop deployments.

"The men and women who put on a uniform don't do it to become soldiers of fortune," Tillerson reportedly said. "That's not why they put on a uniform and go out and die ... They do it to protect our freedom."

The reporter Bob Woodward described the same meeting in "Fear," his 2018 book about the Trump White House. But the details in Rucker and Leonnig's account had not been reported before.

According to Woodward, Tillerson called Trump a "f---ing moron" after the meeting. Trump sacked Tillerson in March 2018, reportedly by tweet.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the book.

 

https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-called-top-national-security-135822118.html

 

GO RV, then BV

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30 minutes ago, whatsfordinar? said:

that article changes EVERYTHING!....OK, maybe not...  

 

Probably not.....but for truly patriotic supporters of our military brothers and sisters, past and present, it should.  :salute:

 

GO RV, then BV

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Hmmm......Washington Post "reporters"; Bob Woodward.  What could possibly go wrong there?  Getting that tingly feeling that there might be some MAJOR bias happening?  Any recordings out there to back up the alleged statements?  What with all the tech out there, one would think so.  Maybe the military geniuses in the room deserved the dressing-down based on their seeming tendencies to prolong military engagements and constantly place America in a position of appeasement and apologetics.  Trump is a breath of fresh air albeit a tad on the rude and crass side.

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27 minutes ago, oregonrealtor said:

Hmmm......Washington Post "reporters"; Bob Woodward.

You beat me to it oregonrealtor....

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They are throwing everything at President Trump including the kitchen sink before the Dems get roasted in the Senate trial next week.  The same tactics are being used as they used with Kavanaugh.  Rubbish 

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2 hours ago, coorslite21 said:

Fake news.......move along.....nothing to see hear!

CL

Imagine that........I don’t like what you are saying so it’s FAKE NEWS. The dam is about to break......you got a raft without holes? I bet not......lol

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13 hours ago, caddieman said:

No wrong doings. Let Mulvaney, Bolton, Parnas, Biden And Giuliani testify..........you know that ain’t happening!

 

Dude these guys live in some weird fantasy world... I'm still waiting for the Justice Department to roll out their arrest warrants for all those involved in the coup. LOL

 

B/A

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15 minutes ago, bostonangler said:

Dude these guys live in some weird fantasy world... I'm still waiting for the Justice Department to roll out their arrest warrants for all those involved in the coup. LOL

 

Maybe you should try reading something a little different than the Huffington post or watch something besides CNN or MSNBC.  Durham is moving forward and criminal indictments are coming.   It is no fantasy BA.  If you believe Trump and the Reps are the only ones doing nefarious things then you are the one living in a fantasy world.  

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25 minutes ago, Pitcher said:

 

Maybe you should try reading something a little different than the Huffington post or watch something besides CNN or MSNBC.  Durham is moving forward and criminal indictments are coming.   It is no fantasy BA.  If you believe Trump and the Reps are the only ones doing nefarious things then you are the one living in a fantasy world.  

 

If they broke the law I say take them out... Whoever they are. And next week I truly hope Justice Roberts holds every one of the senators to their oath... If any of them are less than impartial, I hope he calls them out... I think Roberts is a true constitutionalist and will take all of this very seriously and not be the partisan some are hoping for. JMHO

 

B/A

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1 hour ago, bostonangler said:

 

Dude these guys live in some weird fantasy world... I'm still waiting for the Justice Department to roll out their arrest warrants for all those involved in the coup. LOL

 

B/A

 

Just for fun.....do you believe there was no quid pro quo in the Joe/Hunter Biden Ukraine doings.......was that all legal..?

 

If Trump was set up through Ukraine and the Steele Dossier......wouldn't Trump have a right to learn the truth......and as it has been discovered......why would he depend on the FBI to establish that truth......when they, and the DOJ, were part of the corruption....

 

Last question......put yourself in that same situation.....what would you do?

Fight......or just roll over.....?

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Just now, coorslite21 said:

 

Just for fun.....do you believe there was no quid pro quo in the Joe/Hunter Biden Ukraine doings.......was that all legal..?

 

If Trump was set up through Ukraine and the Steele Dossier......wouldn't Trump have a right to learn the truth......and as it has been discovered......why would he depend on the FBI to establish that truth......when they, and the DOJ, were part of the corruption....

 

Last question......put yourself in that same situation.....what would you do?

Fight......or just roll over.....?

 

If there is proof in Biden's case... Lock him up.

 

Trump does not have the right to seek help from a foreign government to investigate a political opponent that law is very clear.

 

In Trump's case there is plenty of proof with more coming out every day, he made bad choices, some of which appear to be illegal.

 

I would not be in that situation, because outside of a few moving violations (Ie; speeding) I don't break laws...

 

B/A

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If Biden wasn't a political opponent would it be ok to ask Ukraine for the help in an investigation?

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13 minutes ago, bostonangler said:

 

If there is proof in Biden's case... Lock him up.

 

Trump does not have the right to seek help from a foreign government to investigate a political opponent that law is very clear.

 

In Trump's case there is plenty of proof with more coming out every day, he made bad choices, some of which appear to be illegal.

 

I would not be in that situation, because outside of a few moving violations (Ie; speeding) I don't break laws...

 

B/A

 

Executive privilege has a pretty wide scope....If the DOJ is off the reservation any President has the right to do just about anything to right that ship....that fix is in process..

 

Political opponent or not....as President it is his duty to go after corruption.....

 

Trump was elected to do 3 things.....clean up the swamp....immigration.....trade parity......as I see it he's making great progress......hope he adds returning to having a credible media for the next 4 years..

 

Bad choices don't get you impeached.....

 

Ok.....so you get a speeding ticket where you know you weren't speeding.......just pay it?.......or would you fight it?

CL

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1 hour ago, cranman said:

If Biden wasn't a political opponent would it be ok to ask Ukraine for the help in an investigation?

 

I would say yes... Governments assist each other all the time, but trying to affect an election by getting a foreign government involved sounds like a third world government to me. Oh and it is clearly illegal.

 

B/A

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2 hours ago, cranman said:

If Biden wasn't a political opponent would it be ok to ask Ukraine for the help in an investigation?

Even if he was, it is the job of a president to enforce the law.  The agreement between Ukraine and the U.S. was signed by BC and Biden. 

Trump was doing his job. If this issue was so bad it would have been included in the Article of Impeachment. 

 

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14 minutes ago, bostonangler said:

 

I would say yes... Governments assist each other all the time, but trying to affect an election by getting a foreign government involved sounds like a third world government to me. Oh and it is clearly illegal.

 

B/A

Seems kind of wrong doesn't it? You can't  be investigated for a crime because you are running to be the most powerful person the world? BUT if you are just a person it's ok to ask for help from another country to investigate . Hmmm.

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1 hour ago, coorslite21 said:

Executive privilege

 

In the previous two impeachments both presidents claimed Executive Privilege. Even Nixon tried it. but of course he never made it that far.

In both cases the Supreme Court ruled against them.

 

The Supreme Court addressed executive privilege in United States v. Nixon, the 1974 case involving the demand by Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox that President Richard Nixon produce the audiotapes of conversations he and his colleagues had in the Oval Office of the White House in connection with criminal charges being brought against members of the Nixon Administration for breaking into the Watergate complex. Nixon invoked the privilege and refused to produce any records.

The Supreme Court did not reject the claim of privilege out of hand; it noted, in fact, "the valid need for protection of communications between high Government officials and those who advise and assist them in the performance of their manifold duties" and that "[h]uman experience teaches that those who expect public dissemination of their remarks may well temper candor with a concern for appearances and for their own interests to the detriment of the decisionmaking process." This is very similar to the logic that the Court had used in establishing an "executive immunity" defense for high office-holders charged with violating citizens' constitutional rights in the course of performing their duties. The Supreme Court stated: "To read the Article II powers of the president as providing an absolute privilege as against a subpoena essential to enforcement of criminal statutes on no more than a generalized claim of the public interest in confidentiality of nonmilitary and nondiplomatic discussions would upset the constitutional balance of 'a workable government' and gravely impair the role of the courts under Article III." Because Nixon had asserted only a generalized need for confidentiality, the Court held that the larger public interest in obtaining the truth in the context of a criminal prosecution took precedence.

 

In 1998, President Bill Clinton became the first president since Nixon to assert executive privilege and lose in court, when a federal judge ruled that Clinton aides could be called to testify in the Lewinsky scandal.[14]

Later, Clinton exercised a form of negotiated executive privilege when he agreed to testify before the grand jury called by Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr only after negotiating the terms under which he would appear. Declaring that "absolutely no one is above the law", Starr said such a privilege "must give way" and evidence "must be turned over" to prosecutors if it is relevant to an investigation.

 

 

 

B/A

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Just now, cranman said:

Seems kind of wrong doesn't it? You can't  be investigated for a crime because you are running to be the most powerful person the world? BUT if you are just a person it's ok to ask for help from another country to investigate . Hmmm.

 

You can be investigated for a crime, but not by a foreign government on behalf of a politician. Obviously this law is to protect our system and stop our people from being under the influence of a foreign government. Do we really want our political leaders owing favors to any government? If our politicians get those kind of favors, what's to stop that government from blackmailing them in the future? What if Trump had been successful, sank Biden, won the election and then in 2 years Ukraine comes back with we want this or we will release all our evidence of helping you? Wouldn't that be a problem?

 

Trump could have had our people investigate Biden all day. But withholding approved funds to personal gain seems to be the problem.

 

B/A

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