The unreported display of Abdullah is among the startling new details about Trump’s chaotic presidency in “The Divider: Trump in the White House 2017-2021” by Peter Baker, White House correspondent for the New York Times, and Susan Glaser, an employee. New Yorker writer.
The book, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post, is the latest in a long line of deeply reported behind-the-scenes reports featuring or written by people familiar with the Trump administration, with some claiming they tried to rein them in. The worst instincts of the forty-fifth president.
Becker and Glaser write that their book is based on reports they have done for their outlets, “as well as about 300 original interviews conducted exclusively for this book.” “We have obtained private notes, memos, contemporary notes, emails, text messages, and other documents that shed new light on the Trump presidency,” they added.
The two reporters, husband and wife, also interviewed Trump at his Mar-a-Lago home.
One of the themes featured in the book is Trump’s growing focus on attacking his perceived enemies and a growing concern among senior officials in his administration that they must prevent Trump’s lawlessness and erratic demands.
According to the book, several senior officials were “on the verge of collective resignation,” citing an October 2018 letter that Kirstjen Nielsen, then-Secretary of Homeland Security, wrote to one of her top aides about the crypto app Signal.
Chief of Staff John Kelly; Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Education Secretary Betsy DeVos; And Home Secretary Ryan Zinke “everyone” wanted to resign, Nielsen wrote, according to the book.
At the time, Trump feared losing control of Congress and was eager to attract his support base. Fox News was fixated on a caravan of immigrants moving across Central America toward the southern border — referring to this as an “invasion,” as the book notes. In response, Trump urged Nielsen to “tighten the borders even to the point of prompting her to take action she has no authority to take,” according to the book.
Even Nielsen and Alex Azar, the secretary of health and human services, agreed they would resign in protest if Trump resumed family separation at the southern border. In the fall of 2018, she wrote to one of her aides, “The madness has been taken down.”
These officials eventually left the administration, but not quite in unison on one issue.
“The people who were most afraid of his judgment were those in the room with him,” Becker and Glaser wrote.
In November 2018, the Democrats came to power in the House of Representatives, winning a majority.
While in the White House, Trump also tried to use his office to punish — demands that his aides deemed illegal and tried to stop, according to the book.
Not only has Trump tried to block a merger between CNN’s parent company, Time Warner, and telecom giant AT&T, outraged by the network’s coverage of it, but he has also tried to block a government contract from going to a company owned by Jeff Bezos. Amazon founder. (Bezos owns the Washington Post.) “He would do anything to get Bezos,” a senior Trump official told the book’s authors.
Trump has also targeted former intelligence officials James R. Clapper Jr. and John Brennan, demanding that they be stripped of their security clearances more than 50 times. And when the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit blocked one of his policies, Trump told Nielsen he wanted the court to be abolished altogether. “Let’s scrap it,” he told her, according to the book, adding that judges should be “ditched” and using profanity.
The authors wrote that Trump ordered the legislation to be drafted and sent to Congress as soon as possible. According to the book, Nielsen “did what she and many other administration officials did when Trump made unreasonable demands — she ignored them and hoped they would go away.”
Trump, who is eyeing another presidential run, also ruled out former Vice President Mike Pence’s running mate, telling Baker and Glasser, “That would be completely inappropriate.”
Pence’s refusal to prevent Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election, despite Trump’s false allegations of election fraud, has opened a rift between the two men. “Mike committed political suicide by not getting votes he knew were wrong,” Trump, angry at what he saw as a betrayal by Pence, told the authors.
On January 6, 2021, when a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol to stop Biden’s electoral vote count, many of the president’s supporters chanted, “Hang Mike Pence.”
The book also quoted Trump’s wife, Melania, her deep concerns about her husband’s handling of the coronavirus. She spoke directly to Trump in the early days of the pandemic, and according to the book, she later narrated that conversation to Governor Chris Christie (RNJ), whom the president routinely asks for advice.
She remembered telling her husband, according to the book: “You blow this.” “This is serious. It would be really bad, and you have to take it more seriously than you take it,” she said, according to Baker and Glaser. They wrote that Trump “just turned it down.” According to the book, Melania remembered Trump telling her, “You are worried.” Extremely”.
The offer came to Abdullah from the West Bank — which borders Israel and Jordan, which Trump did not control — in January 2018. Trump thought he would do the Jordanian king a favor, without realizing that it would destabilize his country, according to the book.
An excerpt from the book published In August, The New Yorker described how Trump once told a top adviser he wanted “totally loyal” generals like those who served Adolf Hitler — unaware that some of Hitler’s generals had attempted to assassinate the Nazi leader multiple times.
Trump complained to Kelly, then his chief of staff and a retired Marine, “Why don’t you be like German generals?” When Kelly asked which generals he meant, Trump replied: “German generals in World War II.”
Did you know that they tried to kill Hitler three times and almost killed him? According to the book, Kelly said.
The book says Trump didn’t believe him. “No, no, no,” Trump insisted, “they were totally loyal to him.”