Two of the top advisers to President Donald Trump have differing views on his leadership abilities.
NBC News reported in October that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Trump a “moron” during a dinner in July.
National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster disagrees with that sentiment. Buzzfeed reports McMaster called the president “an idiot” during a July 18 dinner meeting with Oracle CEO Safra Catz at Tosca, a Washington restaurant.
McMaster did not stop at idiot, according to the article. Five sources told Buzzfeed McMaster also said Trump was a “dope” and had the intelligence of “a kindergartner.”
The White House has strongly denied McMaster made the statements. Ken Glucek, a spokesman for Oracle also denied the statements were made.
Buzzfeed also quoted a sixth source who had no knowledge of what McMaster said to Oracle, but who heard the national security adviser make the same type of assessment of the commander-in-chief.
In a tweet this afternoon, Talking Points Memo Editor and Publisher Josh Marshall questioned where the BuzzFeed report originated, indicating that the source might be a man with a connection Trump’s former political strategist Steve Bannon and McMaster’s predecessor as national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Marshall noted that Ezra Cohen-Watnick, who worked at the White House as a deputy to Flynn, works at Oracle. Both Bannon and Cohen-Watnick were at odds with McMaster.
The comments allegedly made by McMaster and Tillerson, while not officially confirmed at this point, have been echoed by others in the Republican establishment, including Senators Bob Corker, R-Tennesee, and Jeff Flake, R-Kentucky.
In October, Corker told the New York Times he feared Trump was leading the United States on the way to World War III.
After a series of Trump’s negative tweets, one directed against him, Corker responded by tweeting, “It’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.”
Flake has also been an outspoken critic of Trump. On Saturday night, an open microphone at a town hall meeting in Phoenix captured the senator saying the Republican Party “will be toast” if it becomes the party of Donald Trump and Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore. Flake has frequently questioned the intelligence of Trump’s tweets.
Corker and Flake had announced they will not seek re-election.
While the White House has officially denied McMaster made the disparaging remarks about Trump, at this point McMaster himself has issued no comments.
[Featured Image by Bullitt Marquez/AP Images]