Quite the scoop at CNN.com from Carl Bernstein, yes, the Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein, with a 109-word one sentence lede. One wonders why none of the president's ex-men bothered to do anything about their revelation that Trump is unfit for office, beyond cashing in with speaking engagements and books.
He pandered to enemies and strongmen like Putin and Erdogan, and was extremely abusive toward allies and female heads of state including Theresa May and Angela Merkel.
— Carl Bernstein (@carlbernstein) June 29, 2020
Writes the one and only Carl Bernstein at CNN:
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.
The viciousness Donald Trump expresses toward female counterparts is something else.
By far the greatest number of Trump's telephone discussions with an individual head of state were with Erdogan, who sometimes phoned the White House at least twice a week and was put through directly to the President on standing orders from Trump, according to the sources. Meanwhile, the President regularly bullied and demeaned the leaders of America's principal allies, especially two women: telling Prime Minister Theresa May of the United Kingdom she was weak and lacked courage; and telling German Chancellor Angela Merkel that she was "stupid."
Responses from some media watchers on Twitter, below.
Senior US officials believed Pres. Trump posed a danger to national security with his freewheeling classified phone calls to other heads of state, attempts to charm leaders like Russia's Vladimir Putin and calling German Chancellor Angela Merkel "stupid." https://t.co/E3GQyG6cnp
— CNN (@CNN) June 29, 2020
Bernstein's report is attributed to "White House and intelligence officials intimately familiar with the contents of the conversations." Former top Trump deputies concluded that POTUS was often "delusional" in his dealings with foreign leaders, two of the sources said.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) June 29, 2020
The subtext of the Carl Bernstein CNN article is there are really a lot of people around Trump who know he's an existential threat to the country and they are freaking out.
— Schooley (@Rschooley) June 29, 2020
After covering an impeachment based largely on a Trump foreign leader call, I didn't think I could be surprised by further reporting about such calls. This effort from Carl Bernstein at CNN is stunning and a true must-read. https://t.co/IqKQ2VKcoj
— Garrett Haake (@GarrettHaake) June 29, 2020