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‘Dangerously uninformed’ Trump ‘toyed with’ awarding himself the Medal of Freedom: report

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One of President Donald Trump’s most widely ridiculed assertions is that he is a “very stable genius,” and that line is used in an ironic way in the title of the forthcoming Philip Rucker/Carol D. Leonnig book, “A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump’s Testing of America” — ironic because the book depicts Trump as being the opposite of stable during his time in the White House.

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The Washington Post has obtained a copy of the 417-page book, which has a Tuesday, January 21 release date on Amazon — and according to the Post’s Ashley Parker, “A Very Stable Genius” is full of “vivid details from Trump’s tumultuous first three years as president, from his chaotic transition before the taking office to Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation and final report.”

Rucker and Leonnig reveal in their book that Trump toyed with the idea of awarding himself the Medal of Freedom. Yet when it came to foreign policy, Trump was “at times, dangerously uninformed,” according to the long-time Washington Post reporters.

For example, Rucker and Leonnig report, Trump didn’t appear to fully understand the importance of Pearl Harbor when the president and former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly were getting ready to privately tour the USS Arizona Memorial. Trump, according to Rucker and Leonnig, “had heard the phrase ‘Pearl Harbor’ and appeared to understand that he was visiting the scene of an historic battle, but he did not seem to know much else.”

When Trump met with Indian President Narendra Modi, according to Rucker and Leonnig, he told him, “It’s not like you’ve got China on your border.” But in fact, China is one of the countries India shares a border with.

Trump’s fondness for Russian President Vladimir Putin is discussed in the book, and at one point, Trump declared himself to be more of an expert on Russia than former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson — who had extensive dealings with Putin during his years at Exxon.

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Rucker and Leonnig write, “Tillerson’s years of negotiating with Putin and studying his moves on the chessboard were suddenly irrelevant. ‘I have had a two-hour meeting with Putin,’ Trump told Tillerson. ‘That’s all I need to know … I’ve sized it all up. I’ve got it.’”

“A Very Stable Genius,” Parker notes, is “based on hundreds of hours of interviews with more than 200 sources, corroborated, when possible, by calendars, diary entries, internal memos and even private video recordings. Trump himself had initially committed to an interview for the book, the authors write, but ultimately declined, amid an escalating war with the media.”

Some of the anecdotes in the book, according to Parker, are more amusing than disturbing. In 2018, for example, Trump met with former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to  discuss the possibility of Christie becoming the next White House chief of staff; Christie declined — and when Axios reported that the meeting had taken place, Christie wanted to know how the meeting had been leaked to the media. Only three people were present during the meeting: President Trump, Christie and First Lady Melania Trump.

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“Oh, I did it,” President Trump revealed.


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2020 Election

Trump makes pitch on Catholic TV: ‘Catholics like their Second Amendment so I saved the Second Amendment’

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President Donald Trump this week made a pitch to Catholic voters based on his assertion that he "saved the Second Amendment."

In a Tuesday interview with the Catholic TV network EWTV, correspondent Tracy Sabol asked Trump if he had a message for Catholic voters.

"Well, I think anybody having to do with, frankly, religion, but certainly the Catholic Church, you have to be with President Trump when it comes to pro-life, when it comes to all of the things, these people are going to take all of your rights away, including Second Amendment," the president said, "because, you know, Catholics like their Second Amendment. So I saved the Second Amendment."

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‘Jim Acosta is a fake reporter!’ Trump angrily denies reports that he ‘still doesn’t get’ coronavirus threat

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CNN's Jim Acosta must have struck a nerve with President Donald Trump.

Trump angrily denied Acosta's reporting that some members of the president's coronavirus task force were alarmed that Trump kept trying to change the subject during Tuesday's meeting about the deadly pandemic, and sources familiar with the White House meeting feared he still doesn't understand the gravity of the situation.

“He still doesn’t get it,” the source said. “He does not get it.”

As some members of the task force tried to stress the dire nature of the situation to the president during the meeting, the source said Trump repeatedly attempted to change the subject.

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Dr Birx proves that no amount of gushing compliments can compensate for even a little bit of honesty with Trump: op-ed

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One of President Trump's top infectious disease experts, Dr. Deborah Birx, is known for avoiding Trump's wrath, but that changed when she recently decided to speak frankly on the growing spread of coronavirus across the country. While Trump walked back his public criticism of her, the dust shows that no amount of "gushing compliments or massaging statistics can compensate for even a little bit of honesty with this man," the Washington Post's Molly Roberts writes.

While Birx appeared to be in control of the facts when she first emerged as a figure on the coronavirus task force, she soon became someone Democrats couldn't trust.

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