General H.R. McMaster, who is the White House’s National Security Adviser, reportedly told a tech CEO the president was an “idiot.”
Five unnamed sources told BuzzFeed News that during a private dinner in July, General McMaster told Oracle CEO Safra Catz that he viewed his boss as an “idiot” and a “dope,” who had the intelligence level of a “kindergartener.” A sixth source confided to reporter Joseph Bernstein that McMaster had made similar comments about President Trump’s intellectual capacity in private.
National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton flatly denied that his boss made the comments, saying that they contradict McMaster’s actual views of the president. Ken Glueck, who is Oracle’s chief lobbyist in Washington, told BuzzFeed that the meeting was about U.S./China relations and that the alleged comments never came up in the dinner.
Glueck also said any suggestion that his statement denying Catz’s alleged comments were the result of pressure from the Trump administration was “ridiculous.”
Gen. McMaster’s alleged comments about Trump’s lack of ability to understand critical national security issues may have been in reference to an event in May, when President Trump compromised the identity of an Israeli spy working deep undercover inside terror group ISIS during a meeting with Russian ambassador Sergey Lavrov. McMaster was brought before the White House press corps to address the matter during the fallout of the disclosure.
Former National Counterterrorism Center director Matt Olsen told ABC News at the time that sharing sensitive national security information with Russia was inappropriate, saying that the Putin regime was “not part of the ISIS coalition.”
If the allegations are true, General McMaster wouldn’t be the first top administration official to mock the president’s intelligence. Last month, NBC News reported that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called President Trump a “moron” during a July 20 meeting at the Pentagon. Trump later challenged his Secretary of State to an IQ test, though the challenge was never accepted.
McMaster took over as the executive branch’s top national security official following the sudden exit of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, when it was discovered he had unauthorized conversations with Russia’s envoy to the United States about lifting sanctions imposed by Barack Obama’s administration.
Jordan Shaw is a New Jersey-based freelancer specializing in national and state government issues. When he’s not writing, you can find him volunteering in Camden, New Jersey, or hiking the Wissahickon Valley Park.