Apparently, there are still people in the White House who recognize the disaster that’s happening, and Bob Woodward is exposing them all in his new book Fear: Trump in the White House.
An upcoming book by Bob Woodward says President Donald Trump’s chief of staff privately called him an “idiot” and presidential aides plucked sensitive documents off Trump’s desk and thought he was often unaware of foreign policy basics. https://t.co/LuuxiwsOfV'
— The Associated Press (@AP) September 4, 2018
Defense Secretary James Mattis is reported to have made frustrated exclamations about the president’s capacity for intelligent thought. After a meeting with the president on North Korean policy, Mattis told associates that he doubted Trump’s ability to understand even the smallest details.
The Washington Post summarized the book’s excerpt:
‘At a National Security Council meeting on Jan. 19, Trump disregarded the significance of the massive U.S. military presence on the Korean Peninsula, including a special intelligence operation that allows the United States to detect a North Korean missile launch in seven seconds vs. 15 minutes from Alaska, according to Woodward. Trump questioned why the government was spending resources in the region at all.’
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis: Trump had the understanding of "a fifth- or sixth-grader."
— Jon Cooper (@joncoopertweets) September 4, 2018
Mattis eventually had to explain, “we’re doing this in order to prevent World War III.’
Afterward, Woodward reports that “Mattis was particularly exasperated and alarmed, telling close associates that the president acted like — and had the understanding of — ‘a fifth- or sixth-grader.’ ”
John Dowd once told Trump, according to Woodward: "Don't testify. It's either that or an orange jumpsuit." Quite a statement from the president's then-attorney. https://t.co/ixipn1Ofq9
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 4, 2018
The book details many other instances of Trump’s conflicts with his own staff and nominees, with insults tossed around in the mix. Trump’s own chief of staff, John Kelly, called the president an “idiot” and said that serving under him was “the worst job I’ve ever had.” The former chief of staff, Reince Priebus, called the bedroom where Trump watches cable television and plays on Twitter “the devil’s workshop” and his prime time for tweeting “the witching hour.”
Analysis | Transcript: Phone call between President Trump and journalist Bob Woodward https://t.co/9utaFuk5qN
— Bob Woodward (@realBobWoodward) September 4, 2018
This is not the first book or news report of the disgust Trump’s own people feel at his ignorance. His first secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, reportedly called him “a moron.” The book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by reporter Michael Wolff quoted Steve Bannon calling Trump’s son treasonous.
All of the former staffers who have previously been caught in a scandal over negative statements leaked to the press by another Trump staff member – Reince Priebus, Rex Tillerson, Steve Bannon – have either been fired or resigned.