Trump's top foreign policy adviser questions his intelligence: report

McMaster is reported to have referred to Trump as an "idiot," a "dope" and a "kindergartner"

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published November 20, 2017 3:54PM (EST)

Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster; Donald Trump (AP/Susan Walsh)
Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster; Donald Trump (AP/Susan Walsh)

It is starting to look like a trend: President Donald Trump's top foreign policy advisers deride his intellect in private.

The insulter this time around is reported to be National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster, according to BuzzFeed. During a dinner in July with Oracle CEO Safra Catz, McMaster was quoted by several sources as referring to Trump as an "idiot." He also was heard talking about the president as a "dope" and claimed that Trump's intelligence was equal to that of a "kindergartner."

One source also said that McMaster had made similar remarks to him about the president's intelligence in private.

National Security Council Spokesman Michael Anton denied the story, telling reporters that "actual participants in the dinner deny that General McMaster made any of the comments attributed to him by anonymous sources. Those false comments represent the diametric opposite of General McMaster's actual views."

Although Anton's version of events was confirmed by an Oracle employee who attended the dinner, BuzzFeed also reported, based on two sources, that individuals with firsthand knowledge of the dinner were threatened with retaliation by Trump administration officials.

McMaster is joining a long tradition of Republican foreign policy bigwigs who have questioned their commander in chief's intellectual firepower. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson referred to Trump as a "moron" during a July meeting in which the president had compared deciding on troop levels to opening up a new restaurant in New York City. Similarly, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., tweeted last month that under Trump "the White House has become an adult day care center."

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

MORE FROM Matthew Rozsa

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Donald Trump H.r. Mcmaster Rex Tillerson