On Thursday, Business Insider reported that a new book details a previously unknown White House exchange in January 2017, when President Donald Trump lost his temper at former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn upon learning that Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to call him and White House staff didn’t get them connected.
The outburst, detailed in national security reporter Peter Bergen’s book “Trump and His Generals: The Cost of Chaos,” occurred in the middle of a meeting between Trump and then-British Prime Minister Theresa May on January 27, 2017.
After May asked Trump whether he had had any contact with Putin and Trump had said no, Flynn leaned in and said, “Sir, we’re arranging that call now. President Putin called several days ago, but we haven’t been able to get it on your calendar yet.”
“Are you kidding me? Vladimir Putin tried to call me, and you didn’t put him through?” shouted Trump. “What the hell were you thinking?”
“Well, sir, you know, you have a lot of calls coming in, and we’re trying to manage who you talk to,” Flynn responded.
Trump reportedly continued to rage about the episode even after the meeting, privately telling White House staff, “What kind of bullsh*t is this? How is it possible that Putin calls me and you don’t put the call through? I don’t know what you guys are doing.” He added that Putin is “the only man on earth who can destroy us.”