Wednesday, February 19, 2020

the last book I ever read (A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump's Testing of America, excerpt ten)

from A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump's Testing of America by Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig:

McMaster made one last attempt to give his considered advice. He had his National Security Council staff prepare a three-inch-thick overnight briefing book for Trump, which the staff secretary delivered to the president’s residence late Monday evening. Notably, the briefing book included four five-by-seven-inch “cue” cards, the kinds used by students cramming for a test. The stock-grade cards, with the White House seal at the top, contained easy talking points Trump could use in the conversation. To ensure the president would not miss what it said, the first card had all capital letters and bold lettering: “DO NOT CONGRATULATE ON ELECTION WIN.”

It was the first time anyone on the White House career staff working on national security could remember a president being handed marching orders from the NSC in all capital letters.

On Tuesday morning, McMaster called Trump at his residence for a quick check-in before the call. McMaster did not reiterate the “DO NOT CONGRATULATE” instructions from the cards. He didn’t think he had to. After all, the key points were in all capital letters. How could Trump miss them? Shortly thereafter, the White House Situation Room placed the call, connecting the Kremlin to Trump’s residence. Trump opened his conversation with Putin as if greeting an old friend, congratulating him on his amazing election victory.

No comments:

Post a Comment