Donald Trump, shortly into his presidency, unleashed a wave a fury upon his military advisers and national security team, calling them ‘dopes and babies’ who he wouldn’t go to war with, a new book revealed.
‘You’re all losers,’ Trump told an assembled group of military brass and cabinet officials during a security briefing at the Pentagon. ‘You don’t know how to win anymore.’
The details are revealed in, ‘A Very Stable Genius‘ — a 417-page book on the presidency by Washington Post reporters Philip Rucker and Carol D. Leonnig being published next week.
The Washington Post printed an excerpt on Friday.
‘I wouldn’t go to war with you people,’ he said. ’You’re a bunch of dopes and babies.’
The president was reacting to a tailored tutorial his then officials - Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson – arranged for him in room 2E924 of the Pentagon – know as ‘The Tank.’
‘Losers!’ Donald Trump unloaded on top officers including Marine General Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (second right) and Paul Selva, his deputy and a four-star Air Force General (right).
On their way in: Jim Mattis and Donald Trump appeared not to exude positive body language before the morning-long briefing session
‘Wax museum guy.’ Those at the meeting were astonished that Mike Pence did not intervene to stop Trump but instead sat there ‘like a wax museum guy.’ Trump spoke in the corridor of the Pentagon afterwards to civilians and military
Allies: The meeting was organized by Rex Tillerson and Jim Mattis – both who have now quit the Trump cabinet – as they became alarmed about gaping holes in Trump’s knowledge
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., was in the main seat, in front of a painting of Lincoln meeting with his generals Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman and Rear Admiral David Dixon Porter.
Around the table were then deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the heads of the branches of the military and Vice President Mike Pence.
The room was lined with other staff officers and White House aides. They included Sean Spicer, then press secretary, Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, and Reince Priebus, then chief of staff.
The sit-down took place six months into the Trump administration. Mattis organized it because of mounting concerns he shared with Tillerson and Gary Cohn, then the chief economic adviser, about Trump’s knowledge of history, and in particular post-war alliances.
It started with Mattis giving a presentation in front of a screen saying: ‘The post-war international rules-based order is the greatest gift of the greatest generation.’
Steve Bannon, then one of Trump’s most senior adviser was sitting behind the table and told the authors he thought the meeting would be ‘f***ing wild.’
‘If you stood up and threatened to shoot [Trump], he couldn’t say “postwar rules-based international order,”‘ he told them.
It was the start of an extended rage.
He railed against General John Nicholson, in charge of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, saying: ‘I don’t think he knows how to win.’
The general was not at the meeting and Dunford tried to defend him, saying they were following orders on how to leave Afghanistan.
The authors say the participants ‘felt sick to their stomachs’ at the president’s words. Tillerson later said he saw one female officer silently crying.
During the meeting, Trump complained Pentagon brass were missing opportunities to make money.
‘We are owed money you haven’t been collecting!’ the president said, according to the book. ‘You would totally go bankrupt if you had to run your own business.’
He asked why Middle East nations weren’t giving the U.S. oil in return for American troops.
‘We spent $7 trillion; they’re ripping us off,’ Trump said. ‘Where is the f***ing oil?’
‘Doesn’t know how to win.’ Army General John Nicholson, who was in charge of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, was the target of Trump’s rage despite not being at the meeting
How Trump spun it: The video he tweeted, with Proud To Be An American as the soundtrack
He said of the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, from which he would later withdraw the United States: ’It’s the worst deal in history!’
Tillerson tried to talk to him about that. ‘I don’t want to hear it,’ the president responded.
‘They’re cheating. They’re building. We’re getting out of it. I keep telling you, I keep giving you time, and you keep delaying me. I want out of it.’
As the president complained about how the United States should make money from American troops – he suggested South Korea pay for the U.S. soldiers there or he’d remove them – Tillerson spoke up.
His father and uncle both saw combat and a great-uncle was a career officer.
‘No, that’s just wrong,’ the authors quote him as telling Trump. ‘Mr. President, you’re totally wrong. None of that is true.’
‘The men and women who put on a uniform don’t do it to become soldiers of fortune,’ Tillerson added. ‘That’s not why they put on a uniform and go out and die. They do it to protect our freedom.’
Throughout it all Mike Pence sat beside Trump without any expression on his face. One participant called him ‘a wax museum guy.’ His son is a commissioned Marine aviator.
Shortly after that the meeting ended.
After Trump left the room, Tillerson spoke up again: ’He’s a f***ing moron,’ he said of Trump.
In contrast Trump said tersely to reporters that the meeting was ‘absolutely great’ and when asked if he was going to make a decision on cutting troop numbers in Afghanistan brushed it off saying: ‘You’ll be hearing.’
Then he tweeted a video of himself and Pence shaking hands with members of the military in the Pentagon, with the audio cut to make way for ‘I’m proud to be an American.’ Mattis was only fleetingly visible.
Tillerson was to attack Trump again on the issue of foreign allies paying for U.S. military presence on their territory at a White House Situation Room meeting where Trump demanded money.
Tillerson stood up, turned his back on the president, and turned to uniformed officers and other staff to say how the country valued their service and knew ‘they don’t do it to make a buck.’
In March the following year, Tillerson was fired while he was on a diplomatic tour of Africa.
In December 2018 Mattis quit over Trump’s sudden decision to pull out of Syria and released a letter saying he ‘deserved’ a Pentagon chief who agreed with him but would serve until he was replaced. Trump made him leave almost immediately.
Dunford served the standard four-years as chair
The book details the president’s first three years in the White House and all the drama that filled that time, including special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
It is scheduled to be released on January 21. The two authors were part of The Washington Post’s team that won a 2018 Pulitzer Prize for its reporting on Trump and Russia.
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'I wouldn't go to war with you people. You're all LOSERS!' How Donald Trump insulted the military's most senior officers as 'dopes' prompting Rex Tillerson to call him a 'f***ing moron' is revealed in new book have 1458 words, post on www.dailymail.co.uk at January 17, 2020. This is cached page on Talk Vietnam. If you want remove this page, please contact us.