Senior members of the Trump administration considered sabotaging the president to prompt his resignation, according to an anonymous insider’s tell-all tome on the inner workings of the White House.
CNN obtained a copy of ‘A Warning’, written by a ‘senior official in the Trump administration’ identified as ‘Anonymous’, ahead of its release on Tuesday.
Anonymous is said to be the same person who wrote last year’s scathing op-ed about the Trump administration in The New York Times. His or her 259-page book is an expansion on that, revealing more behind-the-scenes details of the Trump administration at work.
CNN wrote in a review on Sunday that the book is ‘sparse on revelations’ in part because of the author’s attempts to conceal their identity – but it still depicts a White House rife with talks of insubordination and distrust of the president.
The White House swiftly rejected the claims in the book after it was announced late last month, with press secretary Stephanie Grisham charging that it ‘presents a portrait that is the exact opposite of what the President actually is’.
Several of the book’s revelations are outlined below.
Senior members of Donald Trump’s administration considered sabotaging the president to prompt his resignation, an anonymous ‘senior official’ claims in a tell-all tome on the inner workings of the White House
‘Senior members’ of the Trump administration considered sabotaging his presidency
The anonymous author asserts that top officials on Trump’s team brainstormed ways to expedite the president’s resignation.
CNN highlighted a passage where advisers allegedly suggested pressuring aides to encourage Trump to fire special counsel Robert Mueller during the Russia investigation.
‘As one [adviser] said, the President’s inclinations are so bad that perhaps we should “give him enough rope” to entangle his own presidency,’ one passage reads.
‘The advisor [sic] suggested letting him fire the special counsel and Justice Department leadership. He seemed eager enough to do it. If aides helped him follow his instincts, they speculated, it would lead to his downfall.’
The author called the suggestion ‘disturbing on its face’ and condemned the idea of officials encouraging bad behavior with the ultimate goal of punishing Trump for it.
‘A Warning’, written by a ‘senior official in the Trump administration’ will be released on Tuesday. The book depicts a White House rife with talks of insubordination and distrust of the president
Several officials are armed with resignation letters
The author alleges that several members of Trump’s administration are prepared to leave their posts at any moment.
‘We all have draft resignation letters in our desks or on our laptops,’ the author writes.
The official asserts that ‘more than a handful of people’ have set personal ‘redlines’ – ‘boundaries they would refuse to cross or behavior they wouldn’t tolerate from the commander in chief’.
They say that many officials have vowed to quit if Trump forces them to breach their redlines, but many end up rationalizing their staying after that happens.
At several points in the book, the author explains why they and other officials feel that staying in the administration is better than leaving in protest, because ‘we thought we could keep it together’.
Trump is highly suspicious of disloyalty among his inner circle
The author describes the White House atmosphere as ‘paranoid and secretive’, claiming that the president is particularly suspicious of advisers he did not personally appoint.
The official says Trump holds ‘political only’ meetings to exclude those whom he did not appoint. Some of those meetings are conducted in the Situation Room, even if they do not pertain to classified information.
The author further claims that Trump is ‘wary when he sees faces he doesn’t recognize’ and writes that ‘if ever experts from within the administration’s bureaucracy are brought into sensitive White House discussions, they must be the “trusted” ones’.
The anonymous author of ‘A Warning’ alleges that several members of Trump’s administration have already drafted resignation letters so they can leave their posts at any moment
Trump wanted to remove federal judges who blocked his executive orders
The author asserts that Trump repeatedly took aim at members of the judicial system who failed to go along with his policies.
After the court ruled against his 2017 travel ban, Trump allegedly told his aides: ‘Can we just get rid of the judges? Let’s get rid of the [f***ing] judges. There shouldn’t be any at all, really.’
The author claimed that Trump proceeded to ask his legal team to draft a bill for Congress that would reduce the number of federal judges.
‘Staff ignored the outburst and the wacky request,’ the author writes.
Advisers worried that Trump was ‘in Putin’s pocket’
The anonymous author detailed several instances in which they and other officials were disturbed by Trump’s reactions to Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
They described a debate preparation session during which an adviser allegedly recommended that Trump acknowledge that Moscow had tried to interfere with the 2016 election and denounce those actions.
‘Yeah, I don’t buy it,’ Trump said in reply, according to the author.
‘The bizarre reaction stoked fears, including within Trump’s circle, that he was somehow in [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s pocket,’ the author writes.
The author also expresses alarm over how Trump chose to believe Putin over the US intelligence after top agencies came to the conclusion that Russia did meddle in the election.
They quoted an unnamed former top FBI official as saying that Trump dismissed reports from US intelligence agencies about another country’s missile capability because Putin had given him contradicting information.
‘I don’t care. I believe Putin,’ Trump allegedly told the FBI official.
The anonymous author detailed several instances in which they and other officials were disturbed by Trump’s reactions to Russian meddling in the 2016 election. They described fears that Trump may be in [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s pocket. Trump and Putin are pictured together ahead of a meeting in Helsinki in July 2018
Trump said it would be ‘f**king stupid’ not to stand by Saudi Arabia after Jamal Khashoggi’s murder because of its oil influence
In another alarming account of Trump’s dealings with controversial international leaders, the author describes the president’s response to the October 2018 murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The official claims that Trump seemed to accept Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman’s denial of involvement in the murder – despite describing it as ‘the worst cover-up of all time’ – because of the oil industry.
‘I am not going to talk about this anymore!’ Trump allegedly told his aides.
‘Oil is at fifty dollars a barrel. Do you know how stupid it would be to pick this fight? Oil would go up to one hundred fifty dollars a barrel. Jesus. How f****ing stupid would I be?’
Trump ‘stumbles, slurs, gets confused and is easily irritated’
The anonymous author repeatedly raises questions about the president’s mental fitness to hold office.
‘I am not qualified to diagnose the president’s mental acuity,’ Anonymous writes, according to a copy of the book obtained by The Washington Post earlier this month.
‘All I can tell you is that normal people who spend any time with Donald Trump are uncomfortable by what they witness.
‘He stumbles, slurs, gets confused, is easily irritated, and has trouble synthesizing information, not occasionally but with regularity. Those who would claim otherwise are lying to themselves or to the country.’
The author writes the president is ‘like a twelve-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 diverting away from the airport.’
The anonymous author repeatedly raises questions about the president’s mental fitness to hold office, charging that Trump ‘stumbles, slurs, gets confused, is easily irritated’
Senior officials’ ‘panic’ over Trump’s unexpected tweets
In some scenes, the author describes senior officials waking up ‘in a full-blown panic’ over pronouncements Trump has made via Twitter.
The president often uses the social media platform to make policy pronouncements, attack his political rivals and fire his staff.
‘It’s like showing up at the nursing home at daybreak to find your elderly uncle running pantsless across the courtyard and cursing loudly about the cafeteria food, as worried attendants tried to catch him,’ Anonymous writes.
‘You’re stunned, amused, and embarrassed all at the same time. Only your uncle probably wouldn’t do it every single day, his words aren’t broadcast to the public, and he doesn’t have to lead the US government once he puts his pants on.’
Trump’s offensive comments about women’s appearances
The author alleges that Trump frequently makes inappropriate remarks about women, claiming in an excerpt from The Post: ‘I’ve sat and listened in uncomfortable silence as he talks about a woman’s appearance or performance.’
They continued: ‘He comments on makeup. He makes jokes about weight. He critiques clothing. He questions the toughness of women in and around his orbit. He uses words like “sweetie” and “honey” to address accomplished professionals.
‘This is precisely the way a boss shouldn’t act in the work environment.’
Amazon is pre-selling ‘A Warning’ for $30.00. The Kindle e-book version is priced at $15.99.
The author has been hit with criticism for not revealing his or her identity and has come under fire from the Trump administration.
Earlier this month, the Justice Department warned the author that he or she may be violating ‘one or more nondisclosure agreements’ by writing the book.
The author’s agents, in return, accused the DoJ of trying to out the author’s identity.
And White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham has accused the author of being a coward.
‘The coward who wrote this book didn’t put their name on it because it is nothing but lies,’ Grisham said in a statement to the Post.
‘Real authors reach out to their subjects to get things fact checked — but this person is in hiding, making that very basic part of being a real writer impossible. Reporters who choose to write about this farce should have the journalistic integrity to cover the book as what it is — a work of fiction.’
Anonymous addresses the issue in the book and says he or she may come forward with their name in time.
‘I have decided to publish this anonymously because this debate is not about me,’ the author writes.
‘It is about us. It is about how we want the presidency to reflect our country, and that is where the discussion should center. Some will call this “cowardice.” My feelings are not hurt by the accusation. Nor am I unprepared to attach my name to criticism of President Trump. I may do so, in due course.’
The author notes his or her breaking point was Senator John McCain’s death last year when the president tried to keep the flag at the White House from being lowered to half-staff.
‘President Trump, in unprecedented fashion, was determined to use his office to limit the nation’s recognition of John McCain’s legacy,’ Anonymous writes.
Trump attacked the author and called their reliability into question after the op-ed came out last year.
‘Does the so-called “Senior Administration Official” really exist, or is it just the Failing New York Times with another phony source?’ he tweeted at hte time.
‘If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!’
An hour earlier Trump had tweeted a single word: ‘TREASON?’
Trump blasted the unnamed author after the op-ed sent DC into a dizzying guessing game
The president tweeted a single word to sum up his leanings about the essay last year
The Times op-ed described the president as ‘impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective’ in the way he manages the government, and says the author is part of an organized ‘resistance’ whose goal is ‘to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office.’
During a White House event with a group of sheriffs, Trump said the writer was ‘probably… failing and probably here for all the wrong reasons.’
Sarah Sanders, then the White House press secretary said in a statement at the time that the essay was ‘pathetic, reckless, and selfish’ and challenged the Times to ‘issue an apology.’
‘This is just another example of the liberal media’s concerted effort to discredit the President,’ she said then.
The New York Times speculates the author is ‘dyed-in-the-wool establishment Republican.’
‘Many reasonable people voted for Trump because they love their country, wanted to shake up the establishment, and felt that the alternative was worse,’ Anonymous writes, The Times notes in an excerpt. ‘I know you because I’ve felt the same way.’
In its review of the book, the Times writes Anonymous seems to realize ‘somewhat belatedly, that President Trump’s peddling of birtherism conspiracy theories and his boasts about grabbing women’s genitals might have constituted their own kind of warning — plausible evidence that Mr. Trump might not magically transform into the dignified statesman Anonymous so desperately wanted him to be.’