Donald J. Trump and the Dizzying Journey of a Solipsistic Presidency
Take an inside look at Donald J. Trump’s White House with A Very Stable Genius!
This book gives you a glimpse into how Trump’s policies and solipsistic view of the world has shaped things from day one.
This sober yet incredibly detailed recounting of US history under President Trump is a must for any political junkie looking to go deeper than the news cycle.
Led by journalists Carol Leonig and Philip Rucker, you’ll explore the defining moments that have marked his presidency, from alienating the military hierarchy to insights on what foreign leaders think about him.
You’ll even take a closer look at his relationships with his inner circle and see how he’s abused them since taking office.
A Very Stable Genius will undoubtedly bring you closer to understanding just how Trump has been running his White House.
From testimony to personal accounts, this unique book is your backstage pass into the corridors of power in Washington DC.
Donald Trump’s Insulting Outburst at US Military Leaders Alienates the Top Brass
When Donald Trump took office in 2017, US military leaders were already aware of the president’s limited attention span.
They arranged a meeting with him to educate him on America’s strategic priorities.
However, it did not go as planned and ended with disastrous consequences.
Trump insulted the Joint Chiefs of Staff by saying they were a “bunch of dopes and babies,” after which he angrily asked why the United States hadn’t won the war in Afghanistan yet? His outburst early on in his presidency alienated the US military’s top brass, who had been expecting to receive more respect from their commander-in-chief.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson summed up the feelings of many when he said after Trump had left: “He’s a fucking moron.” This incident showcases how far Trump was willing to go to express his disdain for internationalist policies and foreign commitments that form part of America’s security system.
It also serves as an example of how early divisions began to form between President Trump and the US military leadership that still exists today.
Trump’s Lack of Knowledge Leads to Embarrassment and Undermines His Ability to Lead
Time and again, Donald Trump has demonstrated a staggering level of ignorance when it comes to topics foreign and domestic that presidents have historically been expected to understand.
From unexpected remarks about India’s relationship with China to his inability to recite sections of the Constitution on camera during an HBO taping, Trump has repeatedly displayed a lack of knowledge that would be considered unacceptable from any prior president of the United States.
It was particularly alarming when he visited Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii for the 76th anniversary of the devastating Japanese attack –‐ something every president has done before him.
But instead of understanding one of America’s most pivotal moments in history, he asked his chief of staff, John Kelly, “Hey John, what’s all this about? What’s this tour for?” Even brief historical summaries were lost on Trump.
He was known in private as the “two-minute man” because his attention span only lasted two minutes when people attempted to explain new topics or issues to him.
Furthermore, not even an easy task like reading aloud a section of the constitution prepared by advisors went according to plan.
Instead, he complained that he felt like they were speaking a “foreign language” and struggled through memorizing it.
It’s clear, if nothing else, that Donald Trump is not living up to expectations when it comes to knowledge expected from modern presidents.
Trump’s Disrespect for Experts and Inability to Accept Criticism Leads to a Hostile Work Environment
Reading A Very Stable Genius, it’s crystal clear that the President has little respect for the ‘experts’.
His choice of advisors is often accompanied by abuse and impractically unrealistic demands.
For instance, his first National Security Adviser HR McMaster was constantly mocked and fake-shouted in a drill sergeant style every time he entered the room.
Trump also set impossible demands such as asking Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen to close off the US-Mexico border illegally.
When she pointed out the difficulty of doing this and how it strangled international trade flows, she was met with a scathing tongue-lashing from Trump – so much so that she almost resigned on the spot.
All in all, it’s safe to say that if you work for Trump, petty insults and outrageous demands will be par for the course.
Trump’s Impulsive Decision-Making Often Undermines His Advisers’ Hard Work
Throughout his Presidency, Donald Trump has been known for his propensity for making impulsive foreign policy decisions that often clash with the advice of experienced advisers.
This tendency was exemplified in February 2017, when Trump announced he was sending troops to the United States’ southern border without consulting his advisors.
Later, in March 2018 during Vladimir Putin’s contested election victory, Trump wanted to congratulate him on an “amazing” win despite counsel from national security adviser HR Mcmaster not to do so.
Finally, in December 2019, Trump abruptly changed the long-term US commitment in Syria after a single phone call with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan asking why they needed 2,000 soldiers there.
Each time it seems that President Trump opts simply to ignore the advice of those who have more knowledge and experience than him and instead make impulsive foreign policy decisions that have unpredictable consequences.
The Key Message of This Section is: Trump Ignores US Intelligence and Believes Putin’s Denials of Interfering in the 2016 Election
Despite the assessments of U.S. intelligence services, President Donald Trump did not view Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, as a threat to American security interests.
Even after US intelligence had collected irrefutable evidence that Russia had meddled in the 2016 election, Trump still maintained that Putin was innocent and dealt with him without caution or reservation.
Trump made this point especially clear during his second summit with Putin in Helsinki, Finland in 2018.
It was here that the president conducted a remarkable show of support for the Russian leader despite new information presented by U.S.
intelligence agencies showing Russia’s malicious activities towards their country prior to the election.
To some in attendance, he even suggested that such reports were mere conjurations from an obsessed press corps attempting to find fault where none existed.
Nowhere was this more evident than when President Trump stated publicly during his public address at the summit “I don’t see any reason why it would” be Russia carrying out such interference – bypassing any mention of accusations of wrongdoing by Moscow in favor of relying on Putin’s word alone that here weren’t behind it all along.
Trump Regularly Attacks America’s Closest Allies
When it comes to international relations, President Donald Trump is not one to mince words.
He’s shown a consistent disregard for diplomatic protocols and has regularly attacked America’s closest allies.
This was especially apparent during Trump’s interactions with British Prime Minister Theresa May, shortly after the 2018 midterm elections.
The phone call featured plenty of shouting and cursing from Trump, as he berated the Prime Minister over Brexit negotiations and the EU’s treatment of the US.
This kind of behavior was on full display during the 2018 G7 summit in Canada, too.
During the gathering, Trump withdrew US endorsement of an agreement designed to push back against Russia’s acts of aggression, only to later attack Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for being “very dishonest and weak” on Twitter.
A month later at NATO summit in Brussels, Trump lambasted other members for not paying enough into the military alliance and threatened to pull out if their spending totals weren’t increased by January 2019.
These kinds of actions speak louder than words – whatever Trump may say about commitment to international relationships, actions like these seem to indicate that alliances with America don’t mean very much under his presidency.
The Mueller Report Reveals a Pattern of Misconduct But Trump Was Able to Claim Exoneration
In spite of the extensive evidence gathered by Robert Mueller in his 448-page “Mueller Report” uncovering voluminous misconduct committed by Donald Trump and his campaign leading up to the 2016 election, the former FBI director refused to issue a verdict or reach a legal conclusion of any kind.
This left an opportunity for President Trump to spin the report into making it seem as though he had been exonerated rather than criticized–which is exactly what Trump did.
Despite significant facts pointing toward obstruction of justice, the Mueller Report presented no definitive argument either way whether President Trump had committed any crime.
Consequently, Trump was able to claim that Mueller’s report meant exoneration for him despite containing disturbing details of misconduct and attempts to impede investigations.
His brash proclamation likely resonated with many who accepted it without examining the full contents of the report, due to our modern “Twitter society” in which people may only take a cursory glance at news headlines before moving on.
In this instance, President Trump ensured his interpretation went further and became part of history than Mueller’s own results or conclusions.
The ultimate take-away from A Very Stable Genius is that Donald Trump is an unconventional president who is not afraid to break convention, often going against the advice of experts and refusing to read briefings.
Internationally, he has fostered relationships with Russia at the expense of longtime allies like the UK, Germany, and Mexico.
Furthermore, despite extensive investigations into his misconduct domestically, no legal steps could be taken due to a lack of incriminating evidence provided in the Mueller report.
In summary, Trump’s unorthodox approach to governing has caused both major domestic and international controversy.