National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster trashed President Trump at a dinner in July with Oracle CEO Safra Catz – mocking his intelligence, five sources told Buzzfeed in a report published on Monday.
McMaster reportedly called Trump an “idiot” and a “dope” with the intelligence of a “kindergartner,” according to the sources, four of whom told Buzzfeed they spoke with Catz directly.
“[Catz] said the conversation was so inappropriate that it was jaw-dropping,” one source said.
McMaster also reportedly disparaged Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner at the dinner. McMaster reportedly said Kushner had no business being in the White House and should not be involved in national security issues.
Sources tell Buzzfeed the dinner took place on July 18 at the Washington, D.C. restaurant Tosca.
Oracle’s senior vice president for government affairs, Ken Glueck ,and a National Security Council spokesman “heatedly denied the comments” to Buzzfeed.
National Security Council Michael Anton told Breitbart News in a statement: “Actual participants in the dinner deny that General McMaster made any of the comments attributed to him by anonymous sources. Those false comments represent the diametric opposition of General McMaster’s actual views.”
Glueck, who attended the dinner, told Buzzfeed that “none of the statements attributed to General McMaster were said,” and that Catz “concurs entirely” with that.
But Buzzfeed reported that two sources told them that administration officials threatened to retaliate against those who knew of the dinner if they spoke to Buzzfeed. Glueck denied he made his statement under pressure.
The infamous dinner has been reported by several different outlets, most recently Axios in August. After that dinner, Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson decided to support a campaign alleging McMaster was anti-Israel, after speaking with Catz about the dinner.
Sources told Buzzfeed that the decision stemmed from comments McMaster made to Catz praising the Iran nuclear deal and describing Israel settlements in Palestinian territory as a major problem — two views antithetical to President Trump’s. McMaster previously worked at a think tank funded by George Soros that had helped push through the Iran nuclear deal.
Adelson said Catz told him about the dinner. “It certainly enlightened me quite a bit … Now that I have talked to somebody with personal experience with McMaster, I support your efforts.”
Catz, who is Israel-born, has served on the executive committee of the Trump transition team, and has been floated for numerous posts in the Trump administration. She was reportedly alarmed by McMaster’s views and confided in others about the dinner.
Trump confidant Roger Stone spoke in detail about the dinner during a September 11 interview on the Alex Jones Show.
He said McMaster was attempting to recruit Catz — who has donated to both Democrats and Republicans — to chair the president’s Intelligence Advisory Board.
“McMaster became inebriated but during that time he took a call from the president,” Stone said, adding that when McMaster returned to the table “he had nothing but disparaging things to say about his boss.”
Stone then quoted McMaster as saying, “The president is a dope … he is incapable of understanding anything beyond 140 characters – the idea of this guy having the nuclear football is scary – I see my mission as preventing him from blowing up the globe.”
Catz was offended by the comments, told Adelson about the conversation, and Adelson associates tried to give the story to the New York Post, but Kushner had called Rupert Murdoch and spiked the story, according to Stone. He said Catz is refusing to talk to reporters but will if the president asks her about the meeting.
A sixth source who did not have details of the dinner told Buzzfeed that McMaster had made similar comments to him about the president’s intelligence in private, including that Trump lacked the “necessary brainpower” to understand matters before the National Security Council.
It is not the first time that McMaster has been caught disparaging Trump. He appeared at an invite-only conference in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the Institute of the Study of War in September, and was reported to have “chuckled dismissively” when asked about Trump’s tweets on North Korea.
McMaster fired three National Security Council staffers: Derek Harvey, Rich Higgins, and Ezra Watnick Cohen — all officials who had worked on the Trump campaign, were seen as Trump loyalists, and NSC aides whom McMaster felt he could not control.
A source close to Harvey told Breitbart News earlier this year that McMaster had warned Harvey, a friend of his and a highly-respected retired colonel, to stop talking to Bannon. Days after Harvey was seen by McMaster’s top aide leaving Bannon’s office, he was fired from the NSC.
It has also been widely reported that McMaster has led the campaign to get Trump to stop using the term “radical Islamic terrorism.” McMaster also opposed Trump’s Riyadh summit earlier this year as too ambitious, and opposed decertifying the Iran nuclear deal. He also supported boosting the number of troops in Afghanistan by between 3,000 and 5,000 troops.
Center for Security Policy President Frank Gaffney issued a statement after Buzzfeed’s report calling for McMaster’s ouster.
“Ever since H.R. McMaster was appointed National Security Adviser to the President, his tenure has been marked by one debacle after another,” he said. “His many acts of insubordination and malfeasance should have cost McMaster his job long ago.”
“McMaster has made it a habit to publicly disrespect the president, and his contempt for Donald Trump disqualifies him from future service,” he said.