Watergate veteran Carl Bernstein has taken a deep dive into the graded talks US President Donald Trump has had with other heads of state. The picture he draws is appalling.
In a long article on CNN's website, Bernstein goes through hundreds of phone calls Trump has had with other heads of state based on sources around both Trump and other heads of state. Bernstein has interviewed a large number of sources repeatedly over a period of four months until June this year.
The main finding is that Trump was so consistently unprepared to discuss serious issues and was often played by powerful and experienced leaders such as Russia's Vladimir Putin and Turkey's President Recep Erdogan. He is also said to have been shockingly rowdy and unfriendly with allied leaders, especially women such as Germany's Angela Merkel and Britain's former prime minister, Teresa May.
The phone calls was so problematic that Trump's former national security adviser H.R. McMasters and John Bolton, as well as former Secretary of Defense James Mattis, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and former Chief of Staff John Kelly concluded that Trump often had "delusions", according to Bernstein's sources.
They claim Trump thought he could either charm or use rogue behavior to get his will. And often he wanted to have an agenda that was more about his personal desires than many of his senior advisers considered to be in the US interest.
Putin talked for a long time and charmed Trump. Trump made small outbursts of boast and self-congratulations and in addition praised Putin. Both Kushner and Ivanka was immediately overwhelmed by how well the conversation went, while Tillerson, Hill and McMaster, who all had far better knowledge of Putin, were far more skeptical.
Trump interrupted Hill as she tried to describe some of the nuances in Putin's attempt to charm. Instead, he wanted to hear from the daughter and son-in-law about how good the conversation had been.
The head of state, which, according to CNN, has had the most telephone conversations with Trump, is Turkeys Erdogan. Sometimes he called the White House twice a week. Trump also ordered to let him through immediately when he called, according to Bernstein.
At the same time, he has been anything but pleasant with the US allies. He told May that she was weak and lacking courage.
He also told Merkel that she was "stupid".
- Some of the things he said to Angela Merkel were absolutely incredible. He called her "stupid" and accused her of being in the pocket of the Russians. He is toughest with those he views as weak, and weakest with those he should be tough with, says one source.
According to Bernstein's sources, Merkel had been calm, while May had been "flustered and nervous".
Trump also boasted to other heads of state how rich he was, how brilliant he himself is, and everything he had achieved as president, as well as how "idiotic" his predecessors were. Among those he boasted were Saudi Arabia's notorious Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman and North Korea's dictator Kim Jong-un
In addition to the poor treatment of Merkel and May, Trump has also been hostile and aggressive in talks with France's Emmanuel Macron, Canada's Justin Trudeau and Australia's Scott Morrison, Bernstein writes.
https://www.dagbladet.no/nyheter/avslor ... r/72619447
Please read the article on CNN here. Only excerpts from Norwegian newspaper above:
https://edition.cnn.com/2020/06/29/poli ... index.html
A charming man indeed … But not a surprise. It's been clear for a long time what trumps interests is