Earlier today, as detailed by the Inquisitr, President Donald Trump made a number of Thanksgiving phone calls from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Critics are accusing Trump of politicizing the holiday he appears adamant to make about himself – the POTUS stated that he is “thankful” for his presidency and the “tremendous progress” the country has made thanks to him – while threatening to shut down the U.S.-Mexico border and the government.
Armed with his trademark braggadocio, Trump discussed the Jamal Khashoggi case, expressed support for Saudi Arabia, threatened Congress with a government shutdown, vowed to order troops to shoot immigrants on sight, and slammed the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Apart from touching upon everything from border security to trade, Trump talked to military leaders.
The president’s Thanksgiving call to military leaders was “very awkward” and “like talking to your uncle,” according to CNN intelligence and security analyst and former CIA Case Officer Robert Baer. Portrayed by actor George Clooney in the 2005 Academy Award-winning movie Syriana, the experienced intelligence officer ripped into Trump during an interview broadcast earlier today, Raw Story reports, criticizing the president’s lack of preparedness.
“In a way it’s sort of like coming back and talking to your uncle at Thanksgiving who is a little bit — well, not with it — and asking weird questions,” Baer said.
“I think he’s trying to talk to the troops, have a conversation with them, but none of this is scripted and it comes off very awkward.”
“Asking about the catapults on the carriers, that’s very strange,” former CIA Case Officer Robert Baer added. This comment was in reference to another awkward presidential Thanksgiving moment, which Business Insider describes as “bizarre.”
While on a call with a U.S. Navy Officer, Trump probed about the catapults aircraft carriers use to launch aircraft, before delivering his take on the issue. “Steam is very reliable, and the electromagnetic, I mean, unfortunately you have to be Albert Einstein to really work it properly.”
Trump: “Steam is very reliable. Electromagnetic – unfortunately you have to be Albert Einstein to really work it properly...”— Mick Krever (@mickbk) November 22, 2018
Navy Officer: “Yes sir. You sort of have to be Albert Einstein to run the nuclear power plant that we have here as well, but we’re doing that very well.” pic.twitter.com/uJkNgxzF2B
The confused officer responded that the Navy prefers electromagnetic catapults for a number of reasons, adding that running a nuclear power plant requires Einstein-level intelligence as well, yet the U.S. Navy successfully does it. Seemingly taken aback, Trump responded that he is “happy” about the officer’s answer. But as Business Insider notes, Trump appears to dislike electromagnetic catapults and has denounced them in earlier media interviews.
Ex-CIA officer blisters 'not-with-it' Trump's call to troops: Like 'talking to your uncle on Thanksgiving' https://t.co/tvmMdXRHuC— Raw Story (@RawStory) November 22, 2018
Following Trump’s Thanksgiving calls, CNN National Security Analyst John Kirby remarked in an op-ed that the president should stay home instead of visiting U.S. troops abroad, as to avoid further politicizing the United States military in the eyes of the public.