Reprinted with permission from DCReport
At DCReport we’ve scored an advance copy of the most anticipated book of the year, “A Warning” by “Anonymous, A Senior Trump Administration Official.” This book, which goes on sale Nov. 19, is as important, fascinating and easy to read as any book in our times.
The scariest line comes on Page 238, where the author identifies the most unwelcome visitor to the Trump White House—reason.
Crazy anecdote, by idiotic tirade, by telling detail gathered from behind closed doors at the White House, the author makes clear that this book is a work of duty by someone who loves America. This is someone who has dedicated their life to our safety and well-being and is certain that all we hold dear is in grave danger.
Crazy anecdote, by idiotic tirade, by telling detail, Anonymous makes clear that this book is a work of duty by someone who loves America.
“He wants to do what he wants to do, consequences be damned,” Anonymous writes. Trump is “like a 12-year-old in an air traffic control tower, pushing the buttons of government indiscriminately, indifferent to the planes skidding across the runway and the flights frantically diverted away.”
Trump blows off intelligence assessments because he clearly lacks the intellectual capacity to understand them, even though he claims to be the world’s top expert on what, by my count, are 22 subjects. When Trump tries to speak on many of these subjects he fell flat because, in reality, he knows nothing about Middle East politics, military strategy, taxes or law.
He carelessly reveals national security secrets that make allies fearful of sharing intelligence with Washington, and he puts the lives of our spies in danger. And in the Oval Office, he crudely and angrily dismisses anyone who speaks in depth or with nuance while also declaring his complete trust in whatever Vladimir Putin tells him.
The author is clearly deeply educated on the history of our nation, ancient Greece and Rome and understands diplomatic and military strategy, philosophy and political history, all of which are alien to Trump.
Many of the references and the way anecdotes are told suggest the author may be an officer in our military or a very seasoned diplomat.
Throughout, the author explains his or her motive for writing this extraordinary book is loyalty, not to Trump but to our nation. The royalties will mostly be given to charity, the author vows.
Anonymous describes “a toxic combination of amorality and indifference,” tells of Trump demeaning his staff with “one pointless indignity after another” and without warning tweeting ideas that aren’t even rolled into dough, much less half-baked.
‘Five-Alarm Fire Drills’
“Trump’s penchant for making decisions with little forethought” shows no regard for blowing up a treaty, denouncing an ally or demoralizing others. His crazy conduct caused “five-alarm fire drills” for White House staff who had to try to dissuade Trump from dangerous actions by diverting his attention to something else.
Those who brief Trump offer no nuance, no complexity and especially no paper.
Because Trump would not even listen to substantial advice, those giving briefings are advised to limit themselves to a single, and very simple, point. Those who soldiered on with lots of facts got the full Trump screaming treatment—something I’ve experienced a few times.
“What the fuck is this!” he would shout, according to Anonymous, when presented with just a modicum of facts. “These are just words, a bunch of words. It doesn’t mean anything.”
Those who stick with Trump must become “reality contortionists” to stay in his good graces. Trump “enjoys watching people go out and compromise their integrity to serve him,” Anonymous writes, a point I’ve made repeatedly.
How Anonymous has avoided these contortions—or has given in to them to stay on—goes unexplained.
The Alabama Incident
Anonymous cites Trump’s false statement in August that Hurricane Dorian was going to strike Alabama as an example of how White House staffers bend to his lies. Inside the White House, Anonymous writes, Trump spent days railing about how he was right because the storm “could” have hit the state.
“Rather than urge him to issue a short correction, too many aides in the West Wing were eager to help him perpetuate a lie… He told them to issue statements disputing reality. They did… [until] it was like a game of Twister gone wrong; the truth was so tied up in knots no one knew what the hell we were talking about.”
Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, and Stephen Miller, his minister of hate, wield power because they don’t care what the best diplomats, generals and policy experts think of them. Their power comes from never allowing any sunlight between themselves and Trump, even when it means cutting out, say, the Defense Department from major policy shifts in the Middle East that may cost American soldiers and sailors their lives.
Trump is so petty that after Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) died the White House flag flew at half-staff for only part of that day. Trump wanted every federal flag run up to the top of the flagpole the next morning, dismissing aides who warned that it “sent a bad signal.”
Republicans started out agitated with Trump, the author writes, but soon became “petrified” of him. They abandoned GOP principles for fear he would sic some crazy and well-funded challenger on them in Republican primaries. Cowardice, not bravery, is a theme, another hint that Anonymous may be a military officer.
Trump really does think he is a god, as I’ve warned for years. Anonymous writes about when Trump declared on the White House lawn in July ” ‘I am the Chosen One,’ gesturing knowingly to the heavens in front of a gaggle of reporters. He said he was teasing. He wasn’t.”
Anonymous cites some of the times that Trump has called those who challenge him or make public facts he wants hidden traitors. Anonymous also reminds us that President Teddy Roosevelt said it was treasonous to not criticize the president.
“Despite the internal bedlam,” Anonymous writes, Trump “did not end with a government populated solely by flunkies.”
A “false optimism infected” Team Trump at the start, but quickly dissipated as the new leader soon revealed no interest in governing, only in regaling people at “odd moments” with how he won office, showing a map that was mostly red because he won so many rural counties.
‘Something Wasn’t Right’
White House staff quickly realized, “The president had no idea of what was doable and what was nuts.”
Team Trump quickly realized “something wasn’t right,” and his management “was not really management at all.” How, Anonymous wonders, could Trump have run his company?
A year into office Trump suggested arming every schoolteacher, which Anonymous describes as “an idea formed in the ether of his mind” that Trump believed brilliant “because he thought of it.”
Trump is so obsessed with immigrants, to whom he traces almost every issue, that he wanted to start calling them “enemy combatants.”
Inside the White House, Trump has repeatedly discussed dumping Mike Pence before the 2020 campaign even though Pence has been as obsequious as Kushner and Miller. Anonymous attributes this to Trump’s need to shake things up, to create chaos.
When it comes to firing people, Trump is not at all his television persona, “He takes the cowardly way out” using others or social media to can people.
Competent leaders are leaving, the author writes, the result being that “increasingly the voices in Donald Trump’s ear are only those who tell him what he wants to hear.”
Anonymous examines character, first noting the great men who as president won wars, tackled difficult problems and soothed the nation after disaster, as Ronald Reagan did when the Challenger space shuttle blew up in 1986. Anonymous emphasizes dignity as a sign of character, something Trump lacks.
Trump calls the White House a “hellhole,” brags that those he attacks will be “kissing our asses” when he is done with them, denounces how America has “the worst laws and the stupidest judges” and waxes admiringly about the My Pillow guy’s television commercials. And when something is obviously and even to Trump undeniably amiss? Trump declares that “it’s all fucked and it’s your fault.”
Anonymous notes that even the worst men, the most unqualified men, can achieve great things, though only at a terrible cost. The author also notes that liberal is not an epithet, as Trump uses it, but the term for the idea that people should be free “to conduct their lives as they wanted” if they did not harm others. He brings this up in the context of how he clearly believes Trump wants to take away our liberty and regiment our lives to his liking.
After threats to our safety and liberty, Anonymous is most disturbed by Trump’s ignorance and disinterest in acquiring knowledge, not to mention wisdom.
Behind Closed Doors
“The sheer level of intellectual laziness is astounding,” Anonymous writes in telling how Trump acts on whatever pops into his head, convinced that he is all-knowing.
“Behind closed doors, his own top officials deride him as an ‘idiot,’ and a ‘moron’ with the understanding of a ‘fifth- or sixth-grader.’ ”
Rex Tillerson, the former ExxonMobil CEO who as secretary of State tried to stop many illegal actions by Trump, was reported to have called Trump “a fucking moron,” an anecdote implied but not specified in the book.
But Anonymous notes, wryly, that when people who made disparaging remarks about Trump inside the White House were pressured to deny them most issued “non-denial denials.”
Trump is congenitally inappropriate. For example, on Sept. 11, 2018, instead of speaking of those murdered by Al Qaeda and those who died trying to save lives, Trump went into a tirade against Kellyanne Conway’s husband George, Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren (“Pocahontas”), former Vice President Joe Biden (“Sleepy Joe”) and denounced the pollsters working for ABC News and The Washington Post.
The point Anonymous makes is that the man has no dignity.
So why do competent people stay? Why not just resign? “Because he’s a mess,” Anonymous quotes himself or herself as telling a close friend. Staying is a way to protect us until Trump is out of office.
Trump is “a wolf in elephant’s clothing” who has “turned the GOP into a mass of contradictions” that overall is negative for the party, Anonymous writes.
“Flip-flopping” by Trump is annoying when it’s about new military uniforms, but “terrifying” when his “impetuousness poses a real danger to our military the full extent of which will not be known for years.”
Trump’s “fake views” are part of how he is “turning the powers of his office against the fundamentals of our democracy.” When Trump says he dislikes the term “deep state,” it’s like “the Marlboro man saying he wasn’t a smoker.”
Anonymous notes that Trump has dismissed American spy agencies as places run by “political hacks.” But it was Trump whose “carelessness” has put the lives of American spies in danger and “has had a chilling effect throughout the national security community, making the already difficult jobs of those charged with safeguarding our country that much harder.”
“Our intelligence professionals were so beaten down by the president’s antics that they’d given up being outraged,” Anonymous writes.
Anonymous says the White House patriots have no explanation for Trump’s “obvious admiration” of Putin, meekly suggesting that perhaps Trump has a schoolboy’s fear of Putin and “is trying to suck up to the bully.”
Should Trump get a second term “you can count on the fact that he will make other dishonorable requests of foreign powers” worse than his efforts to get Ukraine to smear Joe Biden.
One ominous anecdote involves Trump rejecting out of hand intelligence about the capabilities of an unnamed “rogue” country’s missiles. Trump said Putin had given him different information, “I believe Putin,” the national security official said Trump told him, according to Anonymous.
When Trump likes a foreign leader he refuses to accept the danger that leader may pose or consider ulterior motives, which “makes it easy for him to offhandedly dismiss detailed” threat assessments.
“Willful ignorance is the fairest way to describe” Trump’s attitude toward America’s enemies, Anonymous concludes. “He sees what he wants to see.”
For our democracy to survive and the liberties of the people to endure, we need to see what we need to see about the clear and present danger to America posed by Donald Trump’s presidency. And everyone who reads this book will understand that. So let’s hope millions take the time to read every word of “A Warning” by Anonymous.