Tuesday on CNN’s “The Lead,” journalist Carl Bernstein accused President Donald Trump of behaving in a “sadistic” manner when talking to female leaders while discussing his interviews with White House and intelligence officials on their impressions of highly classified phone calls between the president and foreign heads of state.
Bernstein said, “It is at risk because these foreign leaders, particularly strongmen like Putin and Erdogan, took great advantage of an un-briefed ignorant, to use their words, president of the United States. The best example is the withdrawal of American troops from Syria at Erdogan’s and Putin’s urging, doing their business, and putting our allies, the Kurds, at risk of slaughter. Erdogan wanted this for a long time, and Putin wanted this for a long time, and the president doesn’t read the briefings and slavish in these phone calls to the strong men while berating and denigrating and even being sadistic in terms of women heads of state of our allies. And what these calls show, according to the people that you just enumerated, former chiefs of staff, secretaries of state and defense, is that he is unfit in their view to be the president of the United States because he has endangered the national security and continues to.”
Host Jake Tapper said, “Tell me about the conversations President Trump has had with some of our older allies, the U.K., and France, what your sources told you about that.”
Bernstein said, “Well that he has berated our allies in the most demeaning terms. Let’s look at Germany, France and the U.K. In the case of Germany, Angela Merkel, the chancellor, he called her stupid, attacked her for playing ball with the Russians of all things and, quote, ‘being in their pocket,’ went on to talk about how she didn’t know what she was doing in the case of Theresa May, the prime minister of England. He said that she had no spine, no backbone, didn’t know what she was doing in terms of Brexit, that she allowed the U.K. from getting away from not paying dues, but rather than dealing with issues of mutual concern for the allies for 75 years our closest allies, rather than dealing on a substantive basis with real strengths and problems, he always in these conversations went to the default point of these countries ripping us off. Talking about himself as being ripped off rather than having an integrated discussion about European and NATO policy.”
He added, “But in the case of these two women, it was misogyny. It was treating them in a near sadistic way, as the sources said to me. And there has now been confirmation to the CNN report by German officials of these calls and the abuse of Merkel. One of our CNN colleagues got a response from a German official. I’m not even sure exactly where the German official was positioned. I think it might have been in Germany. It might be here in the U.S., But that confirmation is extraordinary. People who read the story ought to take a look at it, confirming that he was sadistic, abusive to the chancellor of Germany.”
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