He wants a Team of Rivals like Lincoln! White House defends Donald Trump hiring decisions after president blasts John Bolton and other former aides as ‘dumb as a rock’ and ‘overrated’ after they’ve quit or been fired
- White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany got asked about multiple times Trump has insulted his former aides
- ‘Why does the president keep hiring people who are ‘dumb as a rock,’ ‘overrated,’ ‘way over their heads,’ ‘wacko,’ and ‘incompetent’?’
- Trump tore info former National Security Advisor John Bolton, whose new book savages Trump
- McEnany responded that Trump likes a ‘Team of Rivals’ like Abraham Lincoln famously assembled
White House Press Secretary Keyleigh McEnany fielded a question Friday about why the person who gave her a job – President Donald Trump – keeps hiring people who are ‘dumb as a rock,’ ‘overrated,’ ‘way over their heads,’ ‘wacko,’ and ‘incompetent.’
Trump has used those words to describe top members of the administration who he once hailed after pushing them out or watching them quit.
He followed a similar pattern in the case of former National Security Advisor John Bolton, who he called ‘crazy’ now that Bolton has a book savaging the president and claiming he is obsessed with his own reelection.
White House Press Secretary Keyleigh McEnany defended President Trump for bringing on top aides who he went on to call ‘crazy’ and ‘dumb as a rock’
Asked whey Trump keeps hiring people of such caliber, McEnany pointed to the ‘Team of Rivals’ concept, also the title of a book by Doris Kearns Goodwin, about President Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet. Lincoln stocked his cabinet with prominent GOP rivals including Secretary of State William Seward and Treasury Secretary Salmon Chase.
‘The president makes hiring decisions based on the fact that he likes to have countervailing view points,’ McEnany responded.
‘I spoke to him this morning about the hiring of John Bolton in particular and he said, ‘I like to counterbalance my own opinion with individuals that oftentimes have the very opposite opinion of my own.’ He likes the model of having a team of rivals, like what we saw in President Lincoln’s administration.’
However Trump did not say relations frayed with cabinet members over policy – although he has caricatured Bolton as a war-monger.
Trump ripped former national security advisor John Bolton as ‘crazy.’ Asked about a skein of insults, McEnany said Trump ‘likes the model of having a team of rivals, like what we saw in President Lincoln’s administration’
McEnany pointed to Abraham LIncoln’s ‘team of rivals,’ which got a second look in Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book
He recently called Jeff Sessions, whom he picked to be the nation’s top law enforcement officer: ‘not mentally qualified to be attorney general.’
Trump said of Bolton: ‘The only thing I liked about Bolton was that everybody thought he was crazy.’ He also called him ‘wacko,’ ‘incompetent,’ and a ‘disgruntled boring fool who only wanted to go to war.’ He also called him a ‘dope.’
At Friday’s White House briefing, NBC’s Peter Alexander followed up, asking: ‘If you’re going to hire rivals, why hire rivals who are ‘dumb as a rock,’ ‘overrated,’ ‘way over their heads,’ ‘wacko,’ and ‘incompetent’?’
McEnany responded: ‘Well sometimes the rivals prove those labels to be true and that’s particularly true in the case of John Bolton, who repeatedly praised the president, then turned. He’s been widely criticized by the New York Times for his book,’ she said – pointing to a book review. ‘I think John Bolton has proven himself to have those labels as true.’
Trump called his former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson ‘dumb as a rock’ after Tillerson told lawmakers Russian President Vladimir Putin ‘out-prepared’ Trump at a key Hamburg meeting.