McMaster, NationalSecurityAdviser, Called Trump ‘Idiot’ With ‘Intelligence Of Kindergartener’ – Media

by Samuel Abasi Posted on November 21st, 2017

Washington D.C., USA: National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster referred to President Donald Trump variously as an ‘idiot’ and a ‘dope’ with the ‘intelligence of a kindergartner’, at a private dinner in July with Oracle CEO Safra Catz, several media outlets are reporting quoting Buzzfeed which referenced ‘five sources with knowledge of the conversation’ in it’s report.

Over a July dinner with Oracle CEO Safra Catz — who has been mentioned as a candidate for several potential administration jobs — McMaster bluntly trashed his boss, said the sources, four of whom told BuzzFeed News they heard about the exchange directly from Catz. The top national security official dismissed the president variously as an “idiot” and a “dope” with the intelligence of a “kindergartner,” the sources said.

A sixth source who was not familiar with the details of the dinner told BuzzFeed News that McMaster had made similarly derogatory comments about Trump’s intelligence to him in private, including that the president lacked the necessary brainpower to understand the matters before the National Security Council.

Both Oracle and the Trump administration heatedly denied the comments that Catz later recounted.

“Actual participants in the dinner deny that General McMaster made any of the comments attributed to him by anonymous sources. Those false comments represent the diametric opposite of General McMaster’s actual views,” said Michael Anton, a spokesman for the National Security Council.

Oracle’s top DC operative, who attended the dinner with Catz, also denied that McMaster made the comments his boss later recounted to others. The meeting, Oracle senior VP for government affairs Ken Glueck said, was about China, and “none of the statements attributed to General McMaster were said.” Glueck added that Catz “concurs entirely” with his account of the dinner.

Glueck responded to repeated inquiries only after BuzzFeed News contacted the NSC. And according to two sources with knowledge of the situation, administration officials threatened to retaliate against several figures with knowledge of the July dinner if they spoke to BuzzFeed News. Asked whether he had made his statement under pressure from the administration, Glueck responded, “ridiculous.”

Along with White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, McMaster — a three-star general — is often seen as a moderating influence on the president and a steadying hand in an administration staffed with political newcomers and anti-establishment bomb-throwers. Because of their perceived influence over the president, both men and in particular McMaster are widely distrusted by Trump’s base and some loyalist aides and former staffers, and have been the perceived target of attacks in the press.

“[Catz] said the conversation was so inappropriate that it was jaw-dropping,” another source told BuzzFeed News.

McMaster’s allegedly dismissive comments are the latest suggestion that at least some of Trump’s senior-most aides see their jobs as containing a president who isn’t up to the task. In October, NBC News and other outlets reported that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called the president a “moron” in a July meeting at the Pentagon. Also in October, Republican Sen. Bob Corker told the New York Times that a group of senior administration officials have banded together to try to keep Trump under control.

News of the July dinner first surfaced in August, when Axios reported that Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson decided to support a campaign alleging that McMaster was anti-Israel after speaking with Catz about her meeting with the national security adviser. That decision stemmed, multiple sources tell BuzzFeed News, from comments McMaster made to Catz praising President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran and describing Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory as a major problem.

But these new details reveal that the subject matter of McMaster’s dinner with Catz, which sources tell BuzzFeed News took place on July 18 at the Washington, DC, restaurant Tosca, ranged far from geopolitics. Indeed, three of the sources said that McMaster disparaged multiple members of the administration to Catz, including Tillerson, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, and President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner. Of Kushner, one source told BuzzFeed News, McMaster said he had no business being in the White House and should not be involved in national security issues.

“[Catz] said the conversation was so inappropriate that it was jaw-dropping,” another source told BuzzFeed News.

The Israel-born Catz served on the executive committee of then-President-elect Trump’s transition team, and has been floated for numerous posts in the Trump administration, including US trade representative, director of national intelligence, and co-chair of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board.

While Catz hasn’t wound up in any of these jobs, Oracle has stayed closer to the Trump administration than many of the other high-profile tech giants. The company has a major presence in the nation’s capital, disclosing nearly $10 million in lobbying expenditures so far in 2017, more than Facebook.

Catz attended the July dinner at the F Street lobbyist hotspot with Glueck, who Recode described as one of the most powerful political operatives in Silicon Valley.

Catz, who has donated widely to both Republicans and Democrats, and McMaster, who has long been a target of the pro-Trump media and the nationalist wing of the administration for his mainstream positions on foreign policy and his purge of staffers hired by his predecessor, Michael Flynn, are both establishment figures. And yet, according to sources, Catz was so alarmed by the tenor of McMaster’s comments about President Trump and Israel that she confided her concerns to several administration officials, as well as Adelson.

EARLIER: Trump Challenges Tillerson Who Reportedly Called Him A Moron To IQ Showdown – President Donald Trump’s feud with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was renewed on Tuesday, after the US president said that the two leaders should compare IQ scores.

“I think it’s fake news,” Trump said, “but if he did that, I guess we’ll have to compare IQ tests. And I can tell you who is going to win.”

In an interview with Forbes published on Tuesday (Oct 10), Trump fired a shot at Tillerson over the “moron” revelation,widely reported by several other news organisations worldwide. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson earlier had privately called Trump a “moron” and disparaged his grasp of foreign policy according to media reports.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later insisted that Trump’s comment was “a joke and nothing more than that.”

Regardless of whether Trump was trying to make a joke, his “IQ tests” challenge is the latest evidence of what White House officials have described as a breach of trust between the president and the secretary of state.

Although Trump has said publicly that he has confidence in Rex Tillerson, as he did on Tuesday, behind the scenes he has long been brooding about his job performance, according to administration officials and outside advisers.

President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson tried to smooth over tensions in their relationship during a White House lunch after the president proposed an “IQ tests” face off with his top diplomat,

Trump met for lunch on Tuesday with Tillerson and Mattis in the president’s private dining room at the White House. Sanders characterised the lunch as “a great visit.”

Shortly before the lunch, a reporter asked Trump whether he had undercut Rex Tillerson with his comments to Forbes.

“No, I didn’t undercut anybody. I don’t believe in undercutting people,” Trump said during a brief media appearance in the Oval Office, as he sat beside former secretary of state Henry Kissinger during a meeting to discuss foreign affairs.

When a reporter asked Trump whether he has confidence in Tillerson as his secretary of state, the president replied, “Yes.”

Over the weekend, reporters asked Trump about his relationship with Tillerson.”We have a very good relationship,” Trump said Saturday. “We disagree on a couple of things. Sometimes I’d like him to be a little bit tougher. But other than that, we have a very good relationship.”

But White House insiders reportedly say that Tillerson’s refusal to personally deny an NBC News report that he labeled Trump a “moron” after a July meeting had only deepened the rift.

Over at the State Department, spokeswoman Heather Nauert declared when asked that Tillerson’s IQ was “high” but insisted that the top diplomat had not been offended.

“Speaking with some of our folks who were over there with the president, with the secretary and the president. The meetings were described as positive,” Nauert said.

Since the alleged insult was reported, White House chief of staff John Kelly has been struggling to keep a lid on the situation, and on renewed rumors of Tillerson’s departure.

But that effort that has been consistently thwarted by Trump’s tweets and barbed remarks.

Last week, before the report of the insult was published, Trump took to Twitter to accuse the former ExxonMobil CEO of “wasting his time” trying to negotiate with DPRK.

The rebuke revived rumors that Rex Tillerson is unhappy at his post, but he insists he has no intention of resigning.

In Washington, Rex Tillerson, along with Mattis, Kelly and chairman of the joint chiefs Joseph Dunford are increasingly seen as a buffer against Trump’s impulses.

Kelly has worked to control the flow of information across Trump’s desk and imposed a decision-making structure that was absent in the early days of the administration.

But for many in Washington, even former supporters from the president’s own party, he has not yet been successful.

“The White House has become an adult day care center,” Senator Bob Corker declared at the weekend, an astonishing public rebuke from a Republican who campaigned for Trump and chairs the Senate foreign relations committee.

And it could not come at a more sensitive time diplomatically.

Trump is poised to confront Iran by questioning a major nuclear deal later this week and appears set on stepping up his threats against nuclear-armed DPRK.

Tillerson will also play a major role in preparing Trump’s monster trip to Asia next month, that will take in Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.

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