President Donald Trump angrily lashed out at his top military brass in a 2017 meeting at the Pentagon, calling them a “bunch of dopes and babies” and telling them “you’re all losers,” according to a forthcoming book by Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker.
One detail from the heated July 20, 2017 meeting that’s been previously reported is that the exchange provoked then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to call his commander in chief “a f-cking moron.”
Now an excerpt from “A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump’s Testing of America” published in The Washington Post demonstrates exactly what tipped Tillerson over the edge.
According to the book, Trump became increasingly angry as his generals as they tried to teach him the fundamental basics of American post-war history.
Tillerson, then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis and then-Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn tried in vain during the meeting to explain to the President about the importance of America’s key alliances for national security. They were concerned that Trump’s proposals were a threat to America’s standing in the world, the Post reported.
His top military brass used lots of visual aids in an attempt to hold Trump’s interest during the meeting, briefing Trump on US deployments, bases and embassies around the world, and the value of trade agreements in boosting America’s national security, the Post reported.
But during the briefing, Trump demanded an explanation from his top generals as to why the US hasn’t won in Afghanistan, calling it a “loser war,” according to the book.
Trump repeatedly interrupted the briefing to object to US policies, like President Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear deal which he called “the worst deal in history.”
“I don’t want to hear it,” Trump said. “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.”
“You’re all losers. You don’t know how to win anymore,” Trump told the meeting attendees, according to the Post’s quote of the book.
“I wouldn’t go to war with you people,” he said during his tirade. “You’re a bunch of dopes and babies.”
The book claimed that those who were in the room were shocked and stunned by the President’s remarks.
Attendees described Vice President Mike Pence, who was also in the meeting, as silent, “frozen like a statue” and “a wax museum guy” during Trump’s lashing out, according to the book excerpt.
“Mr. President, you’re totally wrong. None of that is true,” Tillerson said after Trump’s tirade.
After the meeting ended and Trump left, Tillerson told a group of confidantes, “He’s a f—ing moron.”
One senior official quoted in the book said of the briefing, “not only did it not have the intended effect, but he dug in his heels and pushed it even further on the spectrum, further solidifying his views.”