A shocking new account of Trump’s encounter with the military’s top commanders and generals has just been published.
It underscores the extent to which the President, clueless about how international diplomacy and American strength works around the world, accused top generals of being “dopes and babies” who were “all losers” that didn’t know “how to win anymore.”
And you may remember the big kerfuffle from October 2017 about whether then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Trump “a f–ing moron”—Tillerson refused to deny at the time.
The statements that Trump made that led to Tillerson’s eruption, “have not been reported until now,” as the Washington Post explains.
The Post just published a long excerpt from “A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump’s Testing of America“—a book being published on 21st January, on Trump’s handling of senior security officials and staff.
In particular, the excerpt focuses on a meeting on July 20, 2017, when Secretary of Defense General Mattis (who has now left) invited Trump to a secure private room to school him how international diplomacy works. Also attending the meeting were former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Gary Cohn, Director of the National Economic Council.
Despite their best efforts the meeting didn’t go so well:
Mattis wasn’t trying to convince the president of anything, only to explain and provide facts. Now things were devolving quickly. The general tried to calmly explain to the president that he was not quite right. The NATO allies didn’t owe the United States back rent, he said. The truth was more complicated. NATO had a nonbinding goal that members should pay at least 2 percent of their gross domestic product on their defenses. Only five of the countries currently met that goal, but it wasn’t as if they were shorting the United States on the bill.
More broadly, Mattis argued, the NATO alliance was not serving only to protect western Europe. It protected America, too. “This is what keeps us safe,” Mattis said. Cohn tried to explain to Trump that he needed to see the value of the trade deals. “These are commitments that help keep us safe,” Cohn said.
But none of these nuances were accepted by Trump.
How Trump berated top generals
According to the account the President insulted and berated top generals several times.
“You’re all losers. You don’t know how to win anymore.”
“We spent $7 trillion [in Afghanistan]; they’re ripping us off. Where is the f—ing oil?”
“I wouldn’t go to war with you people,” Trump told the assembled brass. He barked, “You’re a bunch of dopes and babies.”
Tillerson fires back
According to the account, only Rex Tillerson fired back at the President.
“Mr. President, you’re totally wrong. None of that is true.” Tillerson’s father and uncle had both been combat veterans.
“The men and women who put on a uniform don’t do it to become soldiers of fortune. That’s not why they put on a uniform and go out and die . . . They do it to protect our freedom.”
Later, under his breath, he called Trump “a f***ing moron.”
The Generals agreed never to talk in full about the meeting … until now.