Carl Bernstein Reports Former WH Officials Saw Trump as ‘Danger to National Security’ and Often ‘Delusional’ During Calls to Foreign Leaders
CNN’s Carl Bernstein unveiled a reportedly damning indictment of President Donald Trump’s calls with foreign leaders during his first term, citing administration officials as being alarmed that Trump’s lack of preparation and naive belief in his own negotiation skills represented a “danger to national security,” and was often “delusional.”
Per a Monday evening report on CNN, Bernstein reported that these ominous conclusions were reached after “hundreds of highly classified phone calls.” In particular, Trump’s repeated deference to Russian President Vladimir Putin became a continued source of worry. Just last month, Trump again dismissed the 2016 election interference by Russia as a “hoax” during a phone call with Putin. And Trump’s infamous phone call with the Ukrainian President last July sparked the president’s impeachment over his attempt to withhold Congressional aid in exchange for an announced corruption investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son.
President Donald Trump was so consistently unprepared for discussion of serious issues, so often outplayed in his conversations with powerful leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Erdogan, and so abusive to leaders of America’s principal allies, that the calls helped convince some senior US officials _ including his former secretaries of state and defense, two national security advisers and his longest-serving chief of staff — that the President himself posed a danger to the national security of the United States, according to White House and intelligence officials intimately familiar with the contents of the conversations.
Bernstein also reported that several of Trump’s top cabinet officials who have since become publicly critical of the president, including national security advisers H.R. McMaster and John Bolton, Defense Secretary James Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and White House chief of staff John Kelly, concluded that Trump was often “delusional” when dealing with foreign leaders.
“There was little evidence that the President became more skillful or competent in his telephone conversations with most heads of state over time,” Bernstein said. “Rather, he continued to believe that he could either charm, jawbone or bully almost any foreign leader into capitulating to his will, and often pursued goals more attuned to his own agenda than what many of his senior advisers considered the national interest.”
Speaking with CNN’s Jim Acosta about his story, Bernstein pointed out there were exceptions to Trump’s deference and laissez-faire approach. When it came to dealing with women foreign leaders, like U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Bernstein said his sources characterized Trump’s behavior as “near sadistic.”
“In Theresa May’s case,” Bernstein told Acosta, “she was very flustered, she was agitated, she was really very difficult for her to handle the call, and in fact, the intimidation that was put forth in the call by Trump was intended. It was intended to shake her up because the president was furious that the Brits, that Theresa May’s plans for Brexit were not the same that he wanted. He called her weak, called her spineless.”
Watch the video above, via CNN.
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