After Secretary of State Rex Tillerson last month reportedly referred to Donald Trump as “a moron” in a private meeting, Trump has again had his intelligence demeaned by one of his highest-ranking cabinet members behind closed doors — at least according to a report published Monday morning by the online site BuzzFeed, which reported the story based on information from what the publication described as “five sources with knowledge of the conversation.”
The remarks were made by Trump National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, a three-star Army lieutenant general who was educated at West point and who published his Ph.D. thesis as a book — a book in which McMaster criticized army brass for not giving honest assessments of military situations to their superiors.
According to the BuzzFeed story, which may be read in its entirety at this link, McMaster made the comments about Trump’s intelligence or lack thereof in July, when the national security adviser attended a private dinner with Safra Catz, the CEO of technology giant Oracle Corporation. Catz was reportedly considered earlier for a position in Trump’s administration.
At the dinner, according to BuzzFeed‘s sources, McMaster repeatedly ridiculed Trump’s intelligence, referring to Trump variously as an “idiot” and a “dope.” McMaster told Catz that Trump possessed the brainpower of “a kindergartener,” according to the report.
“The conversation was so inappropriate that it was jaw dropping,” one BuzzFeed source told the site, saying that Catz herself was stunned by the bluntness of McMaster’s comments regarding Trump.
A spokesperson for the National Security Council, the administration body headed by McMaster, called the report of McMaster’s remarks “false.”
“Actual participants in the dinner deny that General McMaster made any of the comments attributed to him by anonymous sources, NSC Spokesperson Michael Anton told the site. “Those false comments represent the diametric opposite of General McMaster’s actual views.”
But according to the BuzzFeed report, the Oracle dinner was not the only occasion when McMaster had made disparaging remarks about Trump’s intelligence. The publication found a sixth source, a person who was not at the dinner with Catz, who claimed that on a separate occasion McMaster had said that Trump “lacked the necessary brainpower to understand the matters before the National Security Council.”
A spokesperson for Oracle also denied that the dinner took place the way it was described in the BuzzFeed article.
“None of the statements attributed to General McMaster were said,” Ken Glueck, a Washington D.C. lobbyist for Oracle told the publication.
Last month, NBC News reported that Tillerson, following a meeting during the summer with other members of Trump’s cabinet and national security staff, became so frustrated with Trump’s apparent lack of ability to understand issues that he referred to Trump as a “moron.”
When asked directly to confirm or deny that he had made the comments, Tillerson simply dodged the question, saying only, “I’m not going to deal with petty stuff like that.”
Also in October, a former professor at Wharton School of Finance, where Trump attended two years as an undergraduate, was reported to have described Trump as “the dumbest g****** student I ever had.”
[Featured Image by Tom Pennington/Getty Images]