OPEN THE F*CKING BIN LADEN VAULT
Wow, y'all, the Steady State — or as Donald Trump calls it, the Deep State — is mad. We've been noting the past few weeks that something is shifting, that people seem to be writing off the Trump presidency as a total loss, that it's becoming baked in that he's going to lose, and bigly. Then news started to break that Trump learned at least several months ago — or maybe last year! — that his best KGB handler daddy ever had been paying bounties for the heads of American troops in Afghanistan, and Trump didn't do anything about it besides try to get Putin back into the G7 and whisper sweet nothings in his ear on the phone.
Now the leaks are coming HARD.
Carl Bernstein, a reporter who has written a handful of stories in his time, is out with a barn-burner of a story, a four-month investigation into Trump's private phone calls with world leaders, and what he found is stunning. They are not Perfect Calls, and we're going to need to see the contents of the bin Laden server, where they are supposed to be hiding America's deepest state secrets, but instead this White House seems to use it to store Trump's disloyal traitor phone call secrets.
Here is the thing, though. While it is indeed amazing reporting, Carl Bernstein needs a (better) editor — we might be willing to help, CNN, we charge $100,000 per word we have to fix — and he just keeps saying the same thing over and over and fucking OVER again. So we are just going to try to outline this damned thing so that you, the reader, may benefit from it, without sitting there and saying out loud to yourself "CARL, YA JUST SAID THAT" a bunch of times.
Wonkette: Not afraid to be service-y!
Here are the first two grafs for set-up, with parts bolded for emphasis:
In hundreds of highly classified phone calls with foreign heads of state, President Donald Trump was so consistently unprepared for discussion of serious issues, so often outplayed in his conversations with powerful leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Erdogan, and so abusive to leaders of America's principal allies, that the calls helped convince some senior US officials — including his former secretaries of state and defense, two national security advisers and his longest-serving chief of staff — that the President himself posed a danger to the national security of the United States, according to White House and intelligence officials intimately familiar with the contents of the conversations.
The calls caused former top Trump deputies — including national security advisers H.R. McMaster and John Bolton, Defense Secretary James Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and White House chief of staff John Kelly, as well as intelligence officials — to conclude that the President was often "delusional," as two sources put it, in his dealings with foreign leaders. The sources said there was little evidence that the President became more skillful or competent in his telephone conversations with most heads of state over time. Rather, he continued to believe that he could either charm, jawbone or bully almost any foreign leader into capitulating to his will, and often pursued goals more attuned to his own agenda than what many of his senior advisers considered the national interest.
That is everything we ever expected from Trump. Rolled like an idiot by Putin and Erdogan? Check. A vile shithole to our allies, and as we will see, especially to world leaders who are women? Check. Danger to national security? Check. Delusional, stupid, self-serving, and never ever looking out for America's interests, only his own personal interests? Check check check!
Here's another graf:
One person familiar with almost all the conversations with the leaders of Russia, Turkey, Canada, Australia and western Europe described the calls cumulatively as 'abominations' so grievous to US national security interests that if members of Congress heard from witnesses to the actual conversations or read the texts and contemporaneous notes, even many senior Republican members would no longer be able to retain confidence in the President.
We're sure Susan Collins would find a way to be OK with it.
Let's look at some highlights!
Shit He Said To Putin
Well first of all, we should remind you how often Trump talks to Putin. Over a period of three weeks starting around March 30, Trump and Putin sexxx-chattedfive times, including three calls in one week, and of course most of those calls we didn't hear about from the White House, but rather from the Kremlin.
So that was five times Trump could have said something to Putin about hey maybe stop paying the Taliban to murder Americans, if you please, sir. Bernstein's sources say they didn't talk about that, though.
Here's what Trump does tell Putin:
- What a genius Trump is.
- What an idiot Barack Obama and George W. Bush are. "They didn't know BS," is apparently a specific, vaguely English thing Trump likes to say about them. He tells Putin he is "stronger" than the "weaklings" and "the imbeciles" who were president before him. We bet it's annoying for Putin to have to listen to this, but we don't feel sorry for him, because we're not the ones who decided to buy an American president.
- How awesome it was when he got to do the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow.
- Oh yes, and Bernstein writes that Trump spends a lot of time on the phone with Putin "obsequiously courting Putin's admiration and approval." So that's pathetic.
Putin "just outplays" him, said a high-level administration official — comparing the Russian leader to a chess grandmaster and Trump to an occasional player of checkers. While Putin "destabilizes the West," said this source, the President of the United States "sits there and thinks he can build himself up enough as a businessman and tough guy that Putin will respect him."
Two "high-level administration officials" say Trump is so embarrassing, because he really thinks Russia is up on some pedestal, instead of the two-bit gas station with an airport it really is. "He's playing with something he doesn't understand," said one of the officials.
Oh yeah, and apparently in one of Trump's first calls with Putin, he slobbered all over Putin so hard that it embarrassed everybody in the room except for Jared and Ivanka, who were like "BIG DADDY GOOD BIG PHONE CALL DADDY!" Rex Tillerson, H.R. McMaster and Fiona Hill were like "the fuck just happened?"
More on what Fiona Hill, Russia expert and overall badass, endured after that call:
Hill — author of a definitive biography of Putin — started to explain some of the nuances she perceived from the call, according to CNN's sources — offering insight into Putin's psychology, his typical "smooth-talking" and linear approach and what the Russian leader was trying to achieve in the call. Hill was cut off by Trump, and the President continued discussing the call with Jared and Ivanka, making clear he wanted to hear the congratulatory evaluation of his daughter and her husband, rather than how Hill, Tillerson or McMaster judged the conversation.
Apparently Jared and Ivanka get to do big phone calls with Daddy more than you ever dared to imagine.
But Daddy never reads his briefing books. Reading is hard.
Shit He Said To Erdogan
Bernstein says Trump talks to Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish dictator, the very most. Sometimes Erdogan calls "twice a week"! He gets through to Trump even if Trump is waddling around the golf course.
Here are some things Trump tells Erdogan:
- What a genius Trump is.
- What an idiot Barack Obama and George W. Bush are. Again with the "They didn't know BS" comment. That must be weird, having to translate from Halfwit to English to Turkish and back all the way to Halfwit again.
- That he'll totally take care of that stinky situation with the Southern District of New York prosecuting Turkey's state-owned Halkbank for money laundering and violating sanctions against Iran, especially once he gets all the "Obama people" out of SDNY. That should sound familiar, because it's in John Bolton's book, and because of everything that's just happened at SDNY.
- Sometimes Trump would get GRRR with Erdogan, because Erdogan wouldn't release that American pastor for a long time, but we're sure Trump couldn't stay mad very long.
Oh my god it's all the same, except for the parts that are more particular to Trump's fawning relationship with Turkey, as opposed to Russia.
Like when Erdogan told him to pull American troops out of Syria, so Erdogan could genocide the Kurds. We already knew a bit about that call!
Shit He Said To The Saudi Murder Prince And The North Korean Murder King
Apparently Trump really likes to tell them what a genius he is, just like he does with Putin and Erdogan, and Trump really never prepares for his phone calls with Mohammad bin Salman, but there isn't that much else about them in this article.
Shit He Said To Angela Merkel And Theresa May, Because They're Democratic Leaders Who Are Women, All Of Which Is Very Threatening To Him
He called Angela Merkel "stupid" to her face, according to Bernstein's sources. "Humiliating and bullying" is the way one person described Trump's calls with former British prime minister Theresa May.
Bernstein writes that the general rule — and it's not unexpected — is that in Trump's calls with foreign leaders, he's full of "raging outbursts at allies" and "fawning over authoritarian strongmen," like a teenager who really wants to get asked to the prom by an authoritarian strongman and not an ally.
Bernstein reports that Trump is complete garbage to Emmanuel Macron, Justin Trudeau, and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on the phone. But it's the worst with woman leaders.
A German source tells Bernstein that they're really careful about keeping the number of people on Trump/Merkel calls to a minimum, because of how "problematic" they are. Another called Trump's calls with these women "near-sadistic" and added:
"Some of the things he said to Angela Merkel are just unbelievable: he called her 'stupid,' and accused her of being in the pocket of the Russians ... He's toughest [in the phone calls] with those he looks at as weaklings and weakest with the ones he ought to be tough with."
Because of how he's not actually tough, but rather a chickenshit with Daddy issues.
One time, Trump was supposed to be pressuring Germany to hold Russia accountable for committing those poisonings on British soil, but they just couldn't get him to do it, because he was too busy name-calling Merkel. He finally did it, but they probably had to dangle a Big Mac on a string in front of his face.
We'll close this where Bernstein closes it, with this quote from an American official:
With almost every problem, all it takes [in his phone calls] is someone asking him to do something as President on behalf of the United States and he doesn't see it that way; he goes to being ripped off; he's not interested in cooperative issues or working on them together; instead he's deflecting things or pushing real issues off into a corner," said a US official.
"There was no sense of 'Team America' in the conversations," or of the United States as an historic force with certain democratic principles and leadership of the free world, said the official. "The opposite. It was like the United States had disappeared. It was always 'Just me'."
"It was like the United States had disappeared."
We have a feeling that's what they're going to write in the history books about this sad era of American history.
Follow Evan Hurst on Twitter RIGHT HERE, DO IT RIGHT HERE!
Wonkette is fully funded by readers like YOU. If you love Wonkette, WE NEED YOUR LOVE GIFTS TO KEEP US GOING.
Evan Hurst is the managing editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.
Follow him on Twitter RIGHT HERE.