During a July 2017 briefing by United States intelligence agency officials, Donald Trump was informed that North Korea had recently test-fired an ICBM — inter-continental ballistic missile — a type of missile capable of carrying and delivering a nuclear warhead. But Trump simply refused to believe the intelligence agency officials, according to a new book by former Federal Bureau of Investigation Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump.
North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un called the ICBM test a "gift" to "arrogant Americans." But Trump told the intelligence agency officials he believed that the missile launch was a "hoax," according to a Washington Post summary of McCabe's book.
"He thought that North Korea did not have the capability to launch such missiles. He said he knew this because Vladimir Putin had told him so," McCabe wrote.
The episode detailed in McCabe's book is just the latest, though perhaps most chilling example of what has been a long pattern of Trump displaying subservience to Putin, as Atlantic Monthly magazine has documented, including Trump's dismissal of journalists and political dissidents who have been murdered or died in mysterious circumstances under Putin's regime.
Most notoriously, Trump has repeatedly dismissed the intelligence agencies' assessment that Russia attempted to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, instead accepting seemingly without question Putin's personal denials of claims that Russia staged a cyber-attack on the election, as CNN reported.
North Korea's ICBM tests were not a "hoax." As Reuters reported, the rogue state tested two Hwasong-14 ICBMs in July of 2017, and followed up in November by firing their advanced Hwasong-15 inter-continental ballistic missile, which experts said displayed a range of 8,100 miles — meaning that it could deliver a nuclear weapon to any point in the United States, even major East Coast cities such as New York and Washington, D.C.
McCabe's book portrays what National Public Radio described as the "darkest vision of (the) Trump presidency yet." In other passages, McCabe claims that after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey in May of 2017, he and other top Departments of Justice officials, including Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, contemplated initiating a process to remove Trump from office using the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
As the Inquisitr has covered, the 25th Amendment details a process by which a president who is deemed physically or psychologically unfit to carry out the duties of his office may be stripped of his powers by Congress, or even members of his own cabinet.
In a statement posted on Twitter, the Justice Department said that Rosenstein denied McCabe's claims of 25th Amendment discussions among top Justice officials as "inaccurate and factually incorrect."