National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster called President Trump an “idiot” and a “dope,” with the intelligence of a “kindergartner,” a report in BuzzFeed News says.
The comments were dispensed during a July dinner with Oracle CEO Safra Katz, said BuzzFeed, citing five sources, including four who had heard about it directly from Catz. A sixth person claimed McMaster made similar comments, saying the president “lacked the necessary brainpower to understand the matters before the National Security Council,” said BuzzFeed.
It is not the first report about Trump’s simple-mindedness on the world stage. In October, NBC News reported that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Trump a “moron” during a meeting at the Pentagon. In May, Foreign Policy magazine reported that during Trump’s first NATO summit, speakers were limited to four minutes each, to cater to the president’s short attention span. “It’s like they’re preparing to deal with a child,” a source told the magazine.
According to the BuzzFeed report, McMaster let it fly during a dinner with Catz on July 18 at the Washington, D.C., restaurant Tosca, where the national security adviser also complained about Trump administration members 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. McMaster said Kushner had no business being in the White House and shouldn’t be involved in matters of national security. “[Catz] said the conversation was so inappropriate that it was jaw-dropping,” a source told BuzzFeed News.
On Monday, McMaster’s alleged dishing drew giggles on social media, along with some suspicion.
While the observations were unsurprising to those who have a history of being able to see and hear the president, the speaker was a bit of a shock: McMaster has a reputation as a serious, taciturn professional. “I have serious questions about this story,” tweeted CNBC’s Christina Wilkie. “People who know McMaster say he would never sabotage himself like this.”
For their part, officials from Oracle and the Trump administration denied the story. “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. Ken Glueck, the Oracle senior VP for government affairs, said the meeting was about China, and “none of the statements attributed to General McMaster were said.”