'Dopes and Babies': Book Quotes Trump on His Generals

President allegedly lit into them during a meeting early in his presidency
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2020 12:47 PM CST
Book Quotes Trump Ridiculing His Generals
President Trump gestures during a ceremony honoring the members of the Louisiana State University NCAA college championship football team in the East Room at the White House Friday, Jan. 17, 2020.   (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

A new book about President Trump written by two Washington Post reporters details an incident early in his presidency that might make Trump's critics dislike him even more while simultaneously making his supporters admire him even more. It's from an excerpt of A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump’s Testing of America, by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker, published in the Post. The book reports that Trump lit into his top military leaders during a meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon in July 2017. The idea was to sell Trump on principles such as "post-war international rules-based order" (the actual opening line that appeared on a screen), but an increasingly impatient and angry Trump wasn't having it. Among his criticisms:

  • “You’re all losers. You don’t know how to win anymore.”
  • “I wouldn’t go to war with you people. You’re a bunch of dopes and babies.”
  • He called Afghanistan a "loser war" and criticized the cost of military operations around the world. “You would totally go bankrupt if you had to run your own business.”
  • Tillerson responds: Nobody rebutted the president except then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. “No, that’s just wrong,” he said at one point. “Mr. President, you’re totally wrong. None of that is true.”
(Read the full excerpt.)

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