Sep 9, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Woodward book: Trump slammed "my f---ing generals" as "a bunch of pu--ies"

Trump reaches out a hand in a wave while speaking to supporters at a rally

President Trump holds a MAGA rally in Winston-Salem, N.C. Photo: Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

An aide to former Defense Secretary James Mattis heard President Trump say in a meeting, "my f---ing generals are a bunch of pu--ies," because they prioritized alliances over trade deals, according to Bob Woodward's new book "Rage," which was obtained ahead of its publication by CNN.

Why it matters: Trump and his allies have been on the defensive for the past week after anonymous sources alleged in The Atlantic that the president "has repeatedly disparaged the intelligence of service members" — claims that the White House vehemently denies.

The big picture: During interviews with Woodward, Trump reportedly criticized military officials for viewing alliances with South Korea and NATO as the best bargains for the U.S.

  • "I wouldn't say they were stupid, because I would never say that about our military people," Trump said. "But if they said that, they — whoever said that was stupid. It's a horrible bargain ... they make so much money. Costs us $10 billion. We're suckers."
  • Mattis asked his aide to document Trump's comment from the overheard meeting in an email, according to Woodward.

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