President Donald Trump consistently refuses to hear out viewpoints other than his own. (His methods include literally storming out of meetings.) This Thursday, he dismissed concern over intelligence chiefs breaking with him on a number of core foreign policy issues including his long proposed border wall blocking off Mexico as “fake news.” When a reporter tried to discuss the issue during a press availability after meeting with the Chinese on trade, he shut her down.
Reports have circulated pointing out that officials including CIA Director Gina Haspel and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats have diverged from the president’s publicly held and guiding views on issues including the threat from North Korea, foreign policy towards Iran, and dealing with the Islamic State terror group in the Middle East (and world).
Trump doesn’t seem to care anymore.
‘They said that they were totally misquoted and it was taken out of context. So what I’d do is I’d suggest that you call them. They said it was fake news, which frankly didn’t surprise me at all — but we’re here to talk about China.’
Watch the moment:
You could probably win a bet that they didn’t actually call the reports “fake news.”
The intel chiefs had insisted that North Korea is unlikely to give up their nuclear weapons, no matter whether Trump proclaims he “fell in love” with the country’s dictator Kim Jong-Un or not. They added that the Islamic State is also still a potent threat despite repeated Trump administration indications that they believe (or at least want to believe) that the group is “defeated” — and clarified that Iran should not be considered a threat and likely remains in sync with a nuclear deal they and major Western powers agreed to under the Obama administration.
These differences don’t mean nothing. Trump has consistently offered concessions to the North Koreans despite little in return, and he’s moved to withdraw American troops from Syria, where they’ve been fighting the Islamic State. He’s also withdrawn the United States from the nuclear deal with Iran.
Not only have intelligence chiefs broken with him on these key issues, they’ve also failed to jump on board with his assertions that undocumented immigration over the southern border poses a national security threat to the United States.
The same reporter responsible for the above-quoted question asked Trump this Thursday for his take on the border’s conspicuous absence from the latest World Threat Assessment.
Before she even finished talking, Trump blurted out:
‘It didn’t undermine anything. We need a wall, and if we don’t have a wall, we’re never going to have security for this country. Next!’
To call that a simplistic take would be an understatement.
Just recently, Trump offered a dramatically different take on the publicly available takes from his intel chiefs that completely counter his own, literally asserting just the day before:
‘The Intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naive… Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!’
When he can’t even get his own anger straight, why should we trust him to offer any kind of reasoned leadership for the United States?
Featured Image via screenshot from the video