Trump shouted ‘you’re making me look like an idiot’ at White House staff, report claims

Officials including secretary of state Mike Pompeo and aide Stephen Miller berated over border policy

Vincent Wood
Wednesday 02 October 2019 17:39 BST
Trump tells reporters border fence is 'wired' despite Army general's protestations

Donald Trump reportedly told aides and cabinet members they were making him look like an “idiot” in an expletive-laden rant over his failure to clamp down on the nation’s southern border.

In a March Oval Office meeting in which he called for entry to the US from Mexico to be completely shut down, the president is said to have berated officials including secretary of state Mike Pompeo, aide Stephen Miller and former homeland security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

“You are making me look like an idiot,” he said, according to an excerpt of a new book featured in The New York Times, which said the statement also included an expletive.

Border Wars: Inside Trump’s Assault on Immigration by Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Michael D Shear, also claims that Mr Trump considered a range of increasingly bizarre border policies – including fortifying the wall with a moat filled with snakes or alligators.

The week ended with the firing of Ms Nielsen after the 45th President said he wanted a cement wall on the Mexican border, despite contracts having already been secured for a steel barrier.

Asked by Mr Trump to erect such a barricade, Ms Nielsen replied: “Sir, I literally don’t think that’s even possible”.

This prompted the president to request her resignation by saying he wanted “to make a change”.

In another reported exchange between the pair, Ms Nielsen attempted to focus on subjects beyond the wall including requests for legal powers to take down drones.

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

But she was cut off half way through her request.

“Kirstjen, you didn’t hear me the first time, honey,” Mr. Trump said. “Shoot ’em down. Sweetheart, just shoot ’em out of the sky, OK?”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in