If you want to measure the divide between supporters of Donald Trump and the media class, you could use as your touchstone the new book “A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump’s Testing of America.”
The very title drips with sarcasm, but for those of us who “get” President Trump, the joke is on authors Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig, a pair of Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporters who occupy that rarified space between the global elites and the Deep State. You see, for us, Trump is indeed the stable genius who is the only one who could have withstood the bared teeth of the alligators without backing down as he sought to Drain the Swamp. He isn’t testing America; he is testing the establishment. When he puts America First, the establishment quakes and quivers.
Rucker is familiar as an MSNBC pundit. He has teamed up with Leonnig to explain to us unwashed masses just how dangerous Donald Trump is. The first installment published in the Washington Post today is called “‘You’re a bunch of dopes and babies’: Inside Trump’s stunning tirade against generals.” The chapter purports to tell the story of how Secretary of State Rex Tillerson came to utter his famous blunt assessment of Trump: “He’s a fucking moron.”
Of course, like all of the work of the media elites, the story is unsourced, so we have no way of knowing if it is fact or fiction, but assuming it is true, it just confirms what we already knew: Rex Tillerson was the “f—ing moron” and Trump was the plainspoken truth-teller.
According to the new book, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Secretary of State Tillerson and other advisors were concerned in the summer of 2017 that Trump was not coloring inside the lines and that they might lose control of the Deep State juggernaut. They therefore called Trump into the Pentagon’s situation room to “educate” him about how the world worked, or as Rucker and Leonnig frame it for liberal consumption:
“One hundred fifty- two years after Lincoln hatched plans to preserve the Union, President Trumpâs advisers staged an intervention inside the Tank to try to preserve the world order.”
The authors write a detailed narrative about how the generals and Cabinet officers tried to hammer into Trump the importance of NATO and other strategic alliances and how they grew increasingly frustrated that the president did not seem to buy into their analysis.
By that point, six months into his administration, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had grown alarmed by gaping holes in Trumpâs knowledge of history, especially the key alliances forged following World War II. Trump had dismissed allies as worthless, cozied up to authoritarian regimes in Russia and elsewhere, and advocated withdrawing troops from strategic outposts and active theaters alike.
Trump organized his unorthodox worldview under the simplistic banner of âAmerica First,â but Mattis, Tillerson, and Cohn feared his proposals were rash, barely considered, and a danger to Americaâs superpower standing. They also felt that many of Trumpâs impulsive ideas stemmed from his lack of familiarity with U.S. history and, even, where countries were located. To have a useful discussion with him, the trio agreed, they had to create a basic knowledge, a shared language.
So on July 20, 2017, Mattis invited Trump to the Tank for what he, Tillerson, and Cohn had carefully organized as a tailored tutorial. What happened inside the Tank that day crystallized the commander in chiefâs berating, derisive and dismissive manner, foreshadowing decisions such as the one earlier this month that brought the United States to the brink of war with Iran. The Tank meeting was a turning point in Trumpâs presidency. Rather than getting him to appreciate Americaâs traditional role and alliances, Trump began to tune out and eventually push away the experts who believed their duty was to protect the country by restraining his more dangerous impulses.
I know, I know. It is hard to read such statements without barfing, but read on we must. We must also ask how, after three years of successes at home and abroad, the authors could still frame their narrative as if Trump’s ideas are still somehow untested, as if he were the danger and not the neocon establishment that committed us to multi-generational wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The fact that Rucker and Leonnig have the audacity to suggest that Trump brought us “to the brink of war with Iran” shows in real time that they are just liars. In fact, the opposite happened. We are closer than ever to restoring Iran to normalcy after 49 years of playing chicken with the Islamic regime.
But to get back to the bunker, you can imagine Trump’s frustration as such tools as Mattis and Tillerson lectured him about the correct use of American power. As summarized by the Daily Beast, another anti-Trump organ, the meeting reportedly got out of control as the president challenged the hoary assumptions of his top advisors:
Tillerson, then-Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn reportedly took turns trying to explain their points to Trump. But Trump is said to have first appeared bored out of his mind before he got increasingly angry.
The account states Trump repeatedly interrupted the lesson after apparently being triggered by a word or phrase uttered by the military leaders. One example given is that he heard the word âbaseâ during the lesson, which sparked him into launching a tirade about how âcrazyâ and âstupidâ it was that the U.S. paid to build and maintain bases overseas.
His first grievance was reportedly against South Korea, when he suggested charging rent for a $10 billion missile-defense system the U.S. built there to protect South Korea and American troops. He then complained about NATO, saying it was in âarrearsâ to the U.S. for not spending enough money on defenseâa complaint heâs repeatedly raised during his presidency.
Trump is then said to have complained about President Obamaâs Iranian nuclear deal, and the length of the war in Afghanistan. Each time, his generals reportedly tried to gently explain why his view of these complex geopolitical issues might not be entirely accurate. It was reportedly during a conversation about Afghanistan that Trump blew his top.
Let’s face it, by this point any of us would have blown our top. At least anyone with a spine. But most Republican leaders have just gone along with the “established order” because they didn’t have the cojones to take on a bunker full of generals, Ivy League know-it-alls and stuffed-shirt corporate globalists. No doubt they thought they could cow President Trump into playing along with the geopolitical joint enrichment scheme that had been in place since the end of World War II, but that didn’t happen. In fact, according to the narrative of the new book, Trump went alpha male on the generals and rubbed their noses in their failures:
He demanded an explanation for why the United States hadnât won in Afghanistan yet, now 16 years after the nation began fighting there in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Trump unleashed his disdain, calling Afghanistan a âloser war.â That phrase hung in the air and disgusted not only the military leaders at the table but also the men and women in uniform sitting along the back wall behind their principals. They all were sworn to obey their commander in chiefâs commands, and here he was calling the war they had been fighting a loser war.
âYouâre all losers,â Trump said. âYou donât know how to win anymore.â
Trump questioned why the United States couldnât get some oil as payment for the troops stationed in the Persian Gulf. âWe spent $7 trillion; theyâre ripping us off,â Trump boomed. âWhere is the f—ing oil?â
Of course by now, if there had been any Deplorables in the room, we would have been standing on the desks cheering “Four more years” and “USA! USA!” This is exactly what we elected Trump to do, and it scares the hell out of Rucker and Leonnig, not to mention those generals and lard-ass Tillerson. But Trump was just getting started:
All morning, he had been coarse and cavalier, but the next several things he bellowed went beyond that description. They stunned nearly everyone in the room, and some vowed that they would never repeat them. Indeed, they have not been reported until now.
âI wouldnât go to war with you people,â Trump told the assembled brass.
Addressing the room, the commander in chief barked, âYouâre a bunch of dopes and babies.â
What!!!! Oh dear, how one hopes that the Fake News Unit of the Washington Post got this one right! How delicious! If only one could have seen it! But those poor delicate souls in uniform were apparently less than pleased.
The flag officers in the room were shocked. Some staff began looking down at their papers, rearranging folders, almost wishing themselves out of the room. A few considered walking out. They tried not to reveal their revulsion on their faces, but questions raced through their minds. âHow does the commander in chief say that?â one thought. âWhat would our worst adversaries think if they knew he said this?â
I have a few questions, too — like “What kind of weak generals and admirals are we promoting to the Joint Chiefs? If they can’t “handle the truth,” then let them turn in their stars. But the Washington Post authors just painted a picture of how the “draft dodger” Trump left the room in tears. Only sturdy Rex Tillerson was willing to speak up while everyone else cowered in fear:
He was furious and decided he couldnât stand it another minute. His voice broke into Trumpâs tirade, this one about trying to make money off U.S. troops.
âNo, thatâs just wrong,â the secretary of state said. âMr. President, youâre totally wrong. None of that is true.â
The meeting soon ended and Trump walked out, saying goodbye to a group of servicemen lining the corridor as he made his way to his motorcade waiting outside. Mattis, Tillerson, and Cohn were deflated. Standing in the hall with a small cluster of people he trusted, Tillerson finally let down his guard.
âHeâs a f—ing moron,â the secretary of state said of the president.
That was brave of Mr. Tillerson, wasn’t it? He didn’t say it directly to the president, but word eventually got out. Tillerson denied ever having called Trump a moron, so maybe he called him an idiot. I don’t know about that, but I do know that revenge is a dish best served cold.
President Trump got his a few months later when he got to tell Tillerson “You’re fired!”
He will get his real revenge in November of 2020 when he is re-elected for putting the brakes down on the out-of-control Deep State juggernaut. Trump’s genius is indeed his stability. He doesn’t waver or veer from his objective, no matter what you throw at him. No one else could have done what he has done, and no matter how many books are written about him, we may never fully understand him or the strength of character that he needed to set the country straight. In that respect, he may be a bit like Abraham Lincoln, who also was known to question the intelligence of his generals, but somehow managed to prevail anyway.
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Frank Miele has spent four decades in the news business and now offers conservative commentary to counter the left-wing bias in the national media. If you enjoy reading these daily essays, I hope you will consider purchasing one of my books. They are available through the following Amazon links. My new book — “The Media Matrix: What if everything you know is fake?” — shows that Fake News has been around for years. The “Why We Needed Trump” trilogy tackles the politics of the last two decades: Part 1 is subtitled “Bush’s Global Failure: Half Right.” Part 2 is “Obama’s Fundamental Transformation: Far Left.” Part 3 is “Trump’s American Vision: Just Right.” As an Amazon Associate, I may earn referral fees for qualifying purchases through links on my website. Also consider subscribing to Heartland Diary on YouTube by clicking here for News Every Conservative Can Use. My goal is to reach 1,000 subscribers.