President Donald Trump last month stirred up controversy when he said that South Korea should be the country that foots the bill for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), a missile defense system that’s a key deterrent against North Korea.
However, Trump was quickly contradicted publicly by National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, who rushed to assure the Korean government that the United States would pay to install THAAD.
According to a new report from Bloomberg’s Eli Lake, Trump was absolutely furious about this and chewed out his own national security adviser during a heated phone conversation.
“Trump was livid, according to three White House officials, after reading in the Wall Street Journal that McMaster had called his South Korean counterpart to assure him that the president’s threat to make that country pay for a new missile defense system was not official policy,” Lake writes. “These officials say Trump screamed at McMaster on a phone call, accusing him of undercutting efforts to get South Korea to pay its fair share.”
Lake claims that this wasn’t a one-time spat, as Trump in private describes McMaster as “the general undermining my policy,” and he has reportedly expressed regret that he didn’t appoint former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton to be his national security adviser.