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Utopia Talk / Politics / What’s Pearl Harbor about?
Thu Jan 16 11:15:23
Donald Trump barely knew of Pearl Harbor, was ignorant about the basics of geography and complained the US constitution was like reading “a foreign language”, a new book reveals.

A Very Stable Genius, by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig, is the latest book detailing the Trump administration’s tumultuous three years in the White House.

“Hey, John, what’s this all about? What’s this a tour of?” Mr Trump reportedly asked John Kelly, his then-chief of staff, when they took a private tour in 2017 of the USS Arizona Memorial, a ship commemorating the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor during the Second World War.

"Trump had heard the phrase 'Pearl Harbor' and appeared to understand that he was visiting the scene of a historic battle, but he did not seem to know much else," write the authors, who quote a former White House adviser concluding the US president was “dangerously uninformed”.

During a meeting with Narendra Modi, the Indian prime minister’s “eyes bulged out in surprise”, the Washington Post reporters claim, when Mr Trump told him: “It’s not like you’ve got China on your border.”

China and India in fact share more than 2,000 miles of common border.

Mr Modi’s expression “shifted from shock and concern to resignation”, with aides telling the authors the Indians “took a step back” in their diplomatic relations with the US following the meeting.

He also clashed with Mr Tillerson in 2017 when he asked his help in attempting to ditch the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a decades-old law banning Americans from bribing foreign officials for business deals.

"It's just so unfair that American companies aren't allowed to pay bribes to get business overseas. We're going to change that," Mr Trump said, according to the authors, who claim the president complained the rule prevented industry friends and his own company officials from paying off foreign governments.

When Mr Trump early in his tenure agreed to feature in an HBO documentary in which all living presidents read from the constitution, Mr Trump blamed others in the room when he struggled to read the text.

"It's like a foreign language,” he allegedly complained.

the wanderer
Thu Jan 16 11:35:41
all lies! fake news! sounds nothing like every account we hear about him and witness for ourselves!

"the president complained the rule prevented industry friends and his own company officials from paying off foreign governments"

he didn't just say it, he acted on it...

oh wait, i mean, all lies! fake news! yadda yadda!
Thu Jan 16 12:36:45
Well, FDR was a war monger. Japam was in the right....a bad ddecision though.
Thu Jan 16 12:46:02
Another bunch of sleazy authors who want to cash in on the Trump presidency by dishing out juicy rumors and unverifiable allegations.

Tw will of course accept it all as fact for the same reason he spent two years believing that Trump colluded with the Russians: unhinged TDS.
Thu Jan 16 12:48:06
OMG!!! Tumbleweed is Rosie O'Donnell!!!!

It all makes sense now.
Thu Jan 16 12:48:17
Being Trump's fluffer must be an endless, thankless job, rugian. Especially so if he pulls his usual shenanigans and refuses to pay you for your services.
large member
Thu Jan 16 12:51:39
Unfair. You know Ruggy can't respond because of the NDA.
Thu Jan 16 12:52:01

His payment is making our country great again and defending us against the vile ideology of Democratic socialism. And so far, he's quite current on the bill.
the wanderer
Thu Jan 16 13:35:52
has he ever demonstrated being smart or knowledgeable (in the past 10 years)? i must've missed it

we know he doesn't understand voter rolls, a pretty simple concept

we know he doesn't understand NATO funding, another simple concept

what is your evidence to dispute the constant stories from numerous sources, including many people who worked with him that he is an idiot buffoon?
Thu Jan 16 13:43:28

You mean what evidence aside from his entire adult life and career, including his winning election as President of these United States?
Thu Jan 16 13:52:01
You cannot in good faith suggest that the only person capable of bankrupting a casino should use his career as evidence he isn't a buffoon.
the wanderer
Thu Jan 16 14:38:34
and born into wealth & bailed out by daddy more than once

plus has happily abused bankruptcy laws, and hasno morals in dealings... his whole business model is fraud... he sells his name, plasters his face & quotes all over marketing material giving investors impression he's involved when in fact he doesn't have a dime of his own money invested

which has led to at least 2 class-action fraud lawsuits on failed projects as he crosses the legal line... & settles w/ NDAs (his favorite document) so no one can see

you don't settle class-action lawsuits if innocent
Thu Jan 16 14:55:33
That's what Rosie O'Donnell would say.
the wanderer
Thu Jan 16 15:10:21
she must be well-informed
smart dude
Thu Jan 16 23:37:22
Well she eats literally everything. Maybe there might be some facts in there somewhere.
the wanderer
Fri Jan 17 11:58:49
Trump w/ LSU football team:

in front of a sports team, in front of Chinese trade delegation, in front of boy scouts, in front of NATO, in front of his idiot rally goers, on twitter...

all the same: 'i am great, news is fake, Dems are scum'
Fri Jan 17 12:33:56
"like your football team would have taken out those terrorists."

What the actual fuck.
the wanderer
Fri Jan 17 12:35:00
he had to fit them into his self-praise somehow
Fri Jan 17 13:16:08
Hood, Did you see SNLs " as the impeachment turns" or something like that.

It just reminds me at the end qhen they have the football player who hit the other guy with his helmet come in amd say " Trump just pardoned me, he said take my helmet to Afghanistan anf go nuts,
the wanderer
Fri Jan 17 13:24:43
more stuff drawn from the new book... not even sure Trump would deny this account (he still says most of these things)...



Trump organized his unorthodox worldview under the simplistic banner of “America First,” but Mattis, Tillerson, and Cohn feared his proposals were rash, barely considered, and a danger to America’s superpower standing. They also felt that many of Trump’s impulsive ideas stemmed from his lack of familiarity with U.S. history and, even, where countries were located. To have a useful discussion with him, the trio agreed, they had to create a basic knowledge, a shared language.

So on July 20, 2017, Mattis invited Trump to the Tank for what he, Tillerson, and Cohn had carefully organized as a tailored tutorial. What happened inside the Tank that day crystallized the commander in chief’s berating, derisive and dismissive manner, foreshadowing decisions such as the one earlier this month that brought the United States to the brink of war with Iran. The Tank meeting was a turning point in Trump’s presidency. Rather than getting him to appreciate America’s traditional role and alliances, Trump began to tune out and eventually push away the experts who believed their duty was to protect the country by restraining his more dangerous impulses.

The episode has been documented numerous times, but subsequent reporting reveals a more complete picture of the moment and the chilling effect Trump’s comments and hostility had on the nation’s military and national security leadership.

Just before 10 a.m. on a scorching summer Thursday, Trump arrived at the Pentagon. He stepped out of his motorcade, walked along a corridor with portraits honoring former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs, and stepped inside the Tank. The uniformed officers greeted their commander in chief. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Joseph F. Dunford Jr. sat in the seat of honor midway down the table, because this was his room, and Trump sat at the head of the table facing a projection screen. Mattis and the newly confirmed deputy defense secretary, Patrick Shanahan, sat to the president’s left, with Vice President Pence and Tillerson to his right. Down the table sat the leaders of the military branches, along with Cohn and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon was in the outer ring of chairs with other staff, taking his seat just behind Mattis and directly in Trump’s line of sight.

Mattis, Cohn, and Tillerson and their aides decided to use maps, graphics, and charts to tutor the president, figuring they would help keep him from getting bored. Mattis opened with a slide show punctuated by lots of dollar signs. Mattis devised a strategy to use terms the impatient president, schooled in real estate, would appreciate to impress upon him the value of U.S. investments abroad. He sought to explain why U.S. troops were deployed in so many regions and why America’s safety hinged on a complex web of trade deals, alliances, and bases across the globe.

An opening line flashed on the screen, setting the tone: “The post-war international rules-based order is the greatest gift of the greatest generation.” Mattis then gave a 20-minute briefing on the power of the NATO alliance to stabilize Europe and keep the United States safe. Bannon thought to himself, “Not good. Trump is not going to like that one bit.” The internationalist language Mattis was using was a trigger for Trump.

“Oh, baby, this is going to be f---ing wild,” Bannon thought. “If you stood up and threatened to shoot [Trump], he couldn’t say ‘postwar rules-based international order.’ It’s just not the way he thinks.”

For the next 90 minutes, Mattis, Tillerson, and Cohn took turns trying to emphasize their points, pointing to their charts and diagrams. They showed where U.S. personnel were positioned, at military bases, CIA stations, and embassies, and how U.S. deployments fended off the threats of terror cells, nuclear blasts, and destabilizing enemies in places including Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, the Korea Peninsula, and Syria. Cohn spoke for about 20 minutes about the value of free trade with America’s allies, emphasizing how he saw each trade agreement working together as part of an overall structure to solidify U.S. economic and national security.

Trump appeared peeved by the schoolhouse vibe but also allergic to the dynamic of his advisers talking at him. His ricocheting attention span led him to repeatedly interrupt the lesson. He heard an adviser say a word or phrase and then seized on that to interject with his take. For instance, the word “base” prompted him to launch in to say how “crazy” and “stupid” it was to pay for bases in some countries.

Trump’s first complaint was to repeat what he had vented about to his national security adviser months earlier: South Korea should pay for a $10 billion missile defense system that the United States built for it. The system was designed to shoot down any short- and medium-range ballistic missiles from North Korea to protect South Korea and American troops stationed there. But Trump argued that the South Koreans should pay for it, proposing that the administration pull U.S. troops out of the region or bill the South Koreans for their protection.

“We should charge them rent,” Trump said of South Korea. “We should make them pay for our soldiers. We should make money off of everything.”

Trump proceeded to explain that NATO, too, was worthless. U.S. generals were letting the allied member countries get away with murder, he said, and they owed the United States a lot of money after not living up to their promise of paying their dues.

“They’re in arrears,” Trump said, reverting to the language of real estate. He lifted both his arms at his sides in frustration. Then he scolded top officials for the untold millions of dollars he believed they had let slip through their fingers by allowing allies to avoid their obligations.

“We are owed money you haven’t been collecting!” Trump told them. “You would totally go bankrupt if you had to run your own business.”

Mattis wasn’t trying to convince the president of anything, only to explain and provide facts. Now things were devolving quickly. The general tried to calmly explain to the president that he was not quite right. The NATO allies didn’t owe the United States back rent, he said. The truth was more complicated. NATO had a nonbinding goal that members should pay at least 2 percent of their gross domestic product on their defenses. Only five of the countries currently met that goal, but it wasn’t as if they were shorting the United States on the bill.

More broadly, Mattis argued, the NATO alliance was not serving only to protect western Europe. It protected America, too. “This is what keeps us safe,” Mattis said. Cohn tried to explain to Trump that he needed to see the value of the trade deals. “These are commitments that help keep us safe,” Cohn said.

Bannon interjected. “Stop, stop, stop,” he said. “All you guys talk about all these great things, they’re all our partners, I want you to name me now one country and one company that’s going to have his back.”

Trump then repeated a threat he’d made countless times before. He wanted out of the Iran nuclear deal that President Obama had struck in 2015, which called for Iran to reduce its uranium stockpile and cut its nuclear program.

“It’s the worst deal in history!” Trump declared.

“Well, actually . . .,” Tillerson interjected.

“I don’t want to hear it,” Trump said, cutting off the secretary of state before he could explain some of the benefits of the agreement. “They’re cheating. They’re building. We’re getting out of it. I keep telling you, I keep giving you time, and you keep delaying me. I want out of it.”

Before they could debate the Iran deal, Trump erupted to revive another frequent complaint: the war in Afghanistan, which was now America’s longest war. He demanded an explanation for why the United States hadn’t won in Afghanistan yet, now 16 years after the nation began fighting there in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Trump unleashed his disdain, calling Afghanistan a “loser war.” That phrase hung in the air and disgusted not only the military leaders at the table but also the men and women in uniform sitting along the back wall behind their principals. They all were sworn to obey their commander in chief’s commands, and here he was calling the war they had been fighting a loser war.

“You’re all losers,” Trump said. “You don’t know how to win anymore.”

Trump questioned why the United States couldn’t get some oil as payment for the troops stationed in the Persian Gulf. “We spent $7 trillion; they’re ripping us off,” Trump boomed. “Where is the f---ing oil?”

Trump seemed to be speaking up for the voters who elected him, and several attendees thought they heard Bannon in Trump’s words. Bannon had been trying to persuade Trump to withdraw forces by telling him, “The American people are saying we can’t spend a trillion dollars a year on this. We just can’t. It’s going to bankrupt us.”

“And not just that, the deplorables don’t want their kids in the South China Sea at the 38th parallel or in Syria, in Afghanistan, in perpetuity,” Bannon would add, invoking Hillary Clinton’s infamous “basket of deplorables” reference to Trump supporters.

Trump mused about removing General John Nicholson, the U.S. commander in charge of troops in Afghanistan. “I don’t think he knows how to win,” the president said, impugning Nicholson, who was not present at the meeting.

Dunford tried to come to Nicholson’s defense, but the mild-mannered general struggled to convey his points to the irascible president.

“Mr. President, that’s just not . . .,” Dunford started. “We’ve been under different orders.”

Dunford sought to explain that he hadn’t been charged with annihilating the enemy in Afghanistan but was instead following a strategy started by the Obama administration to gradually reduce the military presence in the country in hopes of training locals to maintain a stable government so that eventually the United States could pull out. Trump shot back in more plain language.

“I want to win,” he said. “We don’t win any wars anymore . . . We spend $7 trillion, everybody else got the oil and we’re not winning anymore.”

Trump by now was in one of his rages. He was so angry that he wasn’t taking many breaths. All morning, he had been coarse and cavalier, but the next several things he bellowed went beyond that description. They stunned nearly everyone in the room, and some vowed that they would never repeat them. Indeed, they have not been reported until now.

“I wouldn’t go to war with you people,” Trump told the assembled brass.

Addressing the room, the commander in chief barked, “You’re a bunch of dopes and babies.”

For a president known for verbiage he euphemistically called “locker room talk,” this was the gravest insult he could have delivered to these people, in this sacred space. The flag officers in the room were shocked. Some staff began looking down at their papers, rearranging folders, almost wishing themselves out of the room. A few considered walking out. They tried not to reveal their revulsion on their faces, but questions raced through their minds. “How does the commander in chief say that?” one thought. “What would our worst adversaries think if they knew he said this?”

This was a president who had been labeled a “draft dodger” for avoiding service in the Vietnam War under questionable circumstances. Trump was a young man born of privilege and in seemingly perfect health: six feet two inches with a muscular build and a flawless medical record. He played several sports, including football. Then, in 1968 at age 22, he obtained a diagnosis of bone spurs in his heels that exempted him from military service just as the United States was drafting men his age to fulfill massive troop deployments to Vietnam.

Tillerson in particular was stunned by Trump’s diatribe and began visibly seething. For too many minutes, others in the room noticed, he had been staring straight, dumbfounded, at Mattis, who was speechless, his head bowed down toward the table. Tillerson thought to himself, “Gosh darn it, Jim, say something. Why aren’t you saying something?”

But, as he would later tell close aides, Tillerson realized in that moment that Mattis was genetically a Marine, unable to talk back to his commander in chief, no matter what nonsense came out of his mouth.

The more perplexing silence was from Pence, a leader who should have been able to stand up to Trump. Instead, one attendee thought, “He’s sitting there frozen like a statue. Why doesn’t he stop the president?” Another recalled the vice president was “a wax museum guy.” From the start of the meeting, Pence looked as if he wanted to escape and put an end to the president’s torrent. Surely, he disagreed with Trump’s characterization of military leaders as “dopes and babies,” considering his son, Michael, was a Marine first lieutenant then training for his naval aviator wings. But some surmised Pence feared getting crosswise with Trump. “A total deer in the headlights,” recalled a third attendee.

Others at the table noticed Trump’s stream of venom had taken an emotional toll. So many people in that room had gone to war and risked their lives for their country, and now they were being dressed down by a president who had not. They felt sick to their stomachs. Tillerson told others he thought he saw a woman in the room silently crying. He was furious and decided he couldn’t stand it another minute. His voice broke into Trump’s tirade, this one about trying to make money off U.S. troops.

“No, that’s just wrong,” the secretary of state said. “Mr. President, you’re totally wrong. None of that is true.”

Tillerson’s father and uncle had both been combat veterans, and he was deeply proud of their service.

“The men and women who put on a uniform don’t do it to become soldiers of fortune,” Tillerson said. “That’s not why they put on a uniform and go out and die . . . They do it to protect our freedom.”

There was silence in the Tank. Several military officers in the room were grateful to the secretary of state for defending them when no one else would. The meeting soon ended and Trump walked out, saying goodbye to a group of servicemen lining the corridor as he made his way to his motorcade waiting outside. Mattis, Tillerson, and Cohn were deflated. Standing in the hall with a small cluster of people he trusted, Tillerson finally let down his guard.

“He’s a f---ing moron,” the secretary of state said of the president.

The plan by Mattis, Tillerson, and Cohn to train the president to appreciate the internationalist view had clearly backfired.

“We were starting to get out on the wrong path, and we really needed to have a course correction and needed to educate, to teach, to help him understand the reason and basis for a lot of these things,” said one senior official involved in the planning. “We needed to change how he thinks about this, to course correct. Everybody was on board, 100 percent agreed with that sentiment. [But] they were dismayed and in shock when not only did it not have the intended effect, but he dug in his heels and pushed it even further on the spectrum, further solidifying his views.”

A few days later, Pence’s national security adviser, Andrea Thompson, a retired Army colonel who had served in Afghanistan and Iraq, reached out to thank Tillerson for speaking up on behalf of the military and the public servants who had been in the Tank. By September 2017, she would leave the White House and join Tillerson at Foggy Bottom as undersecretary of state for arms control and international security affairs.

The Tank meeting had so thoroughly shocked the conscience of military leaders that they tried to keep it a secret. At the Aspen Security Forum two days later, longtime NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell asked Dunford how Trump had interacted during the Tank meeting. The Joint Chiefs chairman misleadingly described the meeting, skipping over the fireworks.

“He asked a lot of hard questions, and the one thing he does is question some fundamental assumptions that we make as military leaders — and he will come in and question those,” Dunford told Mitchell on July 22. “It’s a pretty energetic and an interactive dialogue.”

One victim of the Tank meeting was Trump’s relationship with Tillerson, which forever after was strained. The secretary of state came to see it as the beginning of the end. It would only worsen when news that Tillerson had called Trump a “moron” was first reported in October 2017 by NBC News.


continues a bit more here:

observations by me (a Trump expert): all sounds exactly like what you'd expect (& often see) from Trump... no knowledge, simple understandings, no attention span, wants to 'take the oil', etc.

i knew as reading the "don’t want their kids in the South China Sea at the 38th parallel" quote that Trump didn't say this (& sure enough it was Bannon instead... Trump doesn't know any specifics to ever talk like that... he is a FUCKING MORON as Tillerson notes)

also Pence comes off as expected, just like w/ Ukraine where Pence is just a pathetic follower dope doing nothing to offend master Trump... he -had- to have been given some reason to cancel his inauguration attendance... plus Sondland says he told Pence his concerns, plus someone else reported things to Pence & the Pence defense was 'he didn't read it'... whatever

(Tillerson & Bannon seem to be at least two sources for that depiction so their parts could be embellished for own interest)
the wanderer
Fri Jan 17 13:27:25
oh, & also includes his total misunderstanding of simple NATO funding that he continues to fail to understand to this day... even after publicly fucking it up repeatedly...

so ridiculously absurdly unfit
Fri Jan 17 14:13:58
Your just mad he called you a cow and you lost your tv show and ypur fat.
Fri Jan 17 14:29:59
I don't watch SNL. And SNL doesn't offer any excuse for the unabated dumbfuckery that is Trump. It's hard to name a more farcical human being.
Fri Jan 17 14:38:07
I still recommend looking it up on YouTube....the guiliani bit was hilarious....he looks like Nosferatu.
Sam Adams
Fri Jan 17 15:15:53
"Those battleships were probably not divebombed or torpedoed"

Seb, december 9th, 1945

"Actually i didnt necessarily mean battleships and i said they were torpedoed"

Seb, december 10th
Fri Jan 17 15:19:34
"Damage to the USS Arizona looks like it could be consistent with a boiler accident."

Seb, December 9, 1945
Fri Jan 17 15:28:37

Where on Earth did you get the idea that its nearly impossible for a casino to go bankrupt? It happens all the time, particularly in economic downturns.

Here's a fun piece of trivia. In fiscal 2018, casinos located on the Las Vegas Strip collectively posted an aggregate net LOSS of $1.7 billion. Caesars has been a real bitch for the market.
large member
Fri Jan 17 15:36:37
"december 9th, 1945"

Lol, Sammy pwned!
large member
Fri Jan 17 15:37:19
"December 9, 1945"

Lol, Ruggy pwned even more!
Fri Jan 17 15:40:59

It took you and your British clone three days to reverse track. Do we really need to explain the logic of the joke to you?
Fri Jan 17 15:43:08

We are negotiating with the Iraqi government on the future of our military presence. The reality is that, Iranian influence aside, there are too many parties in the country that rely on US troops for their continued safety. Barring an executive call by Trump, they'll be staying for the foreseeable future.
large member
Fri Jan 17 16:40:12
We were merely discussing if you will remain as partners, or as occupiers.

That call is up to the Iraqi PM.
Sam Adams
Fri Jan 17 19:18:03
Oh ya that was supposed to be 1941 :p.

Gg me.

For the first time in 10 years, jergul was right.
Sam Adams
Fri Jan 17 19:20:41

"You did not hear japanese on the radio. Also that minisub probably just got lost"

Seb, December 6, 1941
Sam Adams
Fri Jan 17 19:27:51
Also trump might be dumb, but hes not nearly London dumb.

Mon Jan 20 13:11:56
Sam Adams
Member Fri Jan 17 15:15:53
"december 9th, 1945"

Member Fri Jan 17 15:19:34
"December 9, 1945"

UP's own very stable geniuses.
Sam Adams
Tue Jan 21 10:38:15
Ya i really sebbed that one.
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