All The President’s People: The Growing List of Those Who Have Turned On Donald Trump
Trump supporters should deeply question why so many closest to Trump, who know him best, have turned on him. Many of those that did were people Trump chose to work for him. They were Trump’s “best people.” Of course, Trump speaks very differently of them now.
The other point is in the consistency of their stories. Almost all of these people describe Trump as mentally unfit for the Presidency due to his lack of intellect, his dishonesty, and absence of character and or guiding principles other than his own ego.
The list of Trump’s people who are now against him is astounding not only for its length and breadth, but also for how intimately close to him they were. The list includes his sister, his niece, his National Security Advisor, his Secretary of Defense, his Director of National Intelligence, his Chief of Staff, his Secretary of the Navy, his Communications Director, another Communications Director, his National Economics Director, his Homeland Security Advisor, the Chief of Staff for Homeland Security, his ghost writer for The Art of the Deal, and even his personal lawyer for over ten years.
Each deserves their own discussion.
His Sister, Retired Federal Judge Maryanne Trump Barry: Nominated as a Federal judge by Ronald Reagan she retired under the cloud of an ethics investigation prompted by a New York Times expose suggesting she and her siblings (including President Trump) engaged in illegal financial transactions and tax evasion. Concern for the legal ramifications prompted Mary Trump (see below) to record conversations with her. In those conversations Judge Barry asserts Trump had another person take his SATs for him to get into the University of Pennsylvania. In regards to Trump she states, “He has no principles. None. None.” She continues in this vein saying, “His goddamned tweets and lying, oh my God, I’m talking too freely, but you know. The change of stories. The lack of preparation. The lying. Holy shit.”
His Niece, Mary Trump: The daughter of Trump’s older brother, Fred Trump Junior, she is the author of the bombshell best selling book Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man. Trump sued to prevent publication of the book, but failed. The book reveals Mary Trump was the source of the Trump family tax and financial records for the New York Times that prompted the investigation described above. The book in stark terms, lays out how Donald Trump’s upbringing psychologically impaired him in a way making it impossible to be a competent President. Quote: “This is far beyond garden-variety narcissism; Donald is not simply weak, his ego is a fragile thing that must be bolstered every moment because he knows deep down that he is nothing of what he claims to be.”
His National Security Advisor, John Bolton: First started working in the Reagan Administration. When nominated by George Bush to be Ambassador to the United Nations democrats filibustered to prevent it (Bush used a controversial recess appointment to get him into the position). Trump appointed Bolton as National Security Advisor to replace H.R. McMaster who replaced the now convicted Michael Flynn. Bolton would last a little more than a year in this merry-go-round position before being replaced by Robert O’Brien. Bolton is the author of yet another book that Trump unsuccessfully sued to prevent publication, The Room Where It Happened. The book describes Trump seeking China’s help in winning reelection, Trump’s wrongful meddling in Department of Justice investigations for his own ends, that there was a quid pro quo when holding back arms aid to Ukraine in exchange for investigation of the Bidens, and that Trump did not know Finland was not a part of Russia or that the United Kingdom was a nuclear power.
His Secretary of Defense, James Mattis: The highly decorated Marine Corps General multi-war hero, who earned the nickname “Mad Dog,” was appointed by Trump who described Mattis as “very impressive” and “a true general’s general.” Trump would later fire Mattis for having the audacity to say that we should treat our allies with respect. When Trump later described Mattis as the most overrated general in the world Mattis famously fired back, “I earned my spurs on the battlefield, Donald Trump earned his spurs in a letter from a doctor.” In regards to the George Floyd protests, and Trump’s response, Mattis issued a blistering letter stating, “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership.” Describing how he was “appalled” by Trump’s abuse of the military Mattis wrote, “When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens — much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.” Some of that military leadership would later express their own regrets for participating in that event.
His Director of National Intelligence, Joe Maguire: A highly decorated Navy Seal Vice-Admiral, Trump first appointed Maguire as Director of the National Counterterrorism Center in 2018. Trump then promoted him to Acting Director of National Intelligence to replace Dan Coates. The reason for Maguire’s termination is a testimony to Trump’s pettiness. In February of this year a subordinate of Maguire’s truthfully testified to Congress that the Russians were seeking to intervene in the election again, and once again were doing so to support Trump’s election. So Trump fired Maguire. The firing earned a scathing attack from Admiral William McRaven (see below). In a Washington Post Op-ed McRaven wrote, “As Americans, we should be frightened — deeply afraid for the future of the nation. When good men and women can’t speak the truth, when facts are inconvenient, when integrity and character no longer matter, when presidential ego and self-preservation are more important than national security — then there is nothing left to stop the triumph of evil.”
His Chief of Staff and Head of Department of Homeland Security, John Kelly: Another highly decorated Marine Corps general Trump appointed Kelly describing him as “a Great American.” Kelly states that he agrees with General Mattis that Trump is trying to divide the nation and claims that had he still been with the administration he would have tried to talk Trump out of the Church photo-op debacle.
His Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson: When hired Trump described Tillerson as “a world class player and dealmaker” and “one of the truly great business leaders of the world.” From that Tillerson went two years later to “dumb as a rock and totally ill prepared and ill equipped to be Secretary of State.” To be fair, Tillerson had described Trump as “a fucking moron.” When asked to describe Trump’s value system Tillerson famously said, “I cannot.” After being fired Tillerson described his frustration in working with a man “who is pretty undisciplined, doesn’t like to read, doesn’t read briefing reports” and who wanted to do things that violated the law.
His Secretary of the Navy, Richard Spencer: When Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher was convicted by Court Martial Spencer sought to at least remove him from Seals. Trump ordered Gallagher’s Seal status reinstated and when Spencer pushed the issue he was fired. In a departure letter he wrote, “As Secretary of the Navy. one the most important responsibilities I have to our people is to maintain good order and discipline throughout the ranks. I regard this as deadly serious business. The lives of our Sailors. Marines and civilian teammates quite literally depend on the professional execution of our many missions . . . The rule of law is what sets us apart from our adversaries. Good order and discipline is what has enabled our victory against foreign tyranny time and again . . . Unfortunately it has become apparent that in this respect. I no longer share the same understanding with the Commander in Chief who appointed me in regards to the key principle of good order and discipline. I cannot in good conscience obey an order that I believe violates the sacred oath I took in the presence of my family, my flag and my faith to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.” In a Washington Post Op-ed Spencer would later write that Trump, “has very little understanding of what it means to be in the military, to fight ethically or to be governed by a uniform set of rules and practices.”
His Communications Director, Anthony Scaramucci: In a chaotic mess of an administration, with more turnover than any other, Scaramucci was the pinnacle of it all. He survived only ten days in the Trump appointed job. He has since called Trump “crazy” and “off the rails” and suggested Trump panders to racism. He founded a super PAC aimed at getting out the votes of Republicans who oppose Trump.
His Other Communications Director, Omarosa Manigault Newman: Trump got to know her as a repeat contender on The Apprentice. She was primarily hired to be the token black woman staffer in The Whitehouse. When fired The Whitehouse tried to claim she resigned. Sadly, Omarosa had taped her firing and gave it to the press. When Omarosa claimed Trump staffers discussed strategies to take if tapes came out with Trump using the “n-word,” the staffers denied any such conversation occurred. Alas, Omarosa produced a tape of that conversation as well, with those involved certainly indicating they believed such an offensive tape did exist. Her book, Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House details this and many other allegations of Trump’s racism.
His National Economics Director, Gary Cohn: Appointed by Trump but often disagreed with policy. Cohn publicly criticized the Administration’s response to the Charlottesville white supremacy violence. He resigned over Trump’s insistence on tariffs and was replaced by Larry Kudlow. He has since lamented that there is no one remaining in The Whitehouse willing to stand up to Trump.
His Homeland Security Advisor, Tom Bossert: Bossert quit when Trump dissolved the global health security threats team that he oversaw. In light of the pandemic that should now be a bigger news story than it is. Bossert had urged a “comprehensive biodefense strategy against pandemics and biological attacks.” The rest is history.
His Former Chief of Staff for Homeland Security, Miles Taylor: While he left on comparatively amicable terms for a big money job with Google, the long time Republican security expert stunningly turned against Trump. He was the centerpiece for a powerful advertisement by Republican Voters Against Trump shown at the Democratic National Convention. He also wrote an Op-Ed for the Washington Post saying he “saw firsthand how dangerous Trump is for America.” Taylor stated he “when it came to national security, I witnessed the damning results firsthand” stating Trump’s “bungled response to the coronavirus pandemic is the ultimate example.”
His Ghost Writer for The Art of the Deal, Tony Schwartz: It was Schwartz who actually wrote the book where Trump claims to have defined himself and his means to success. Since then Schwartz has been plagued by guilt for his role in boosting Trump to power. “I put lipstick on a pig. I feel a deep sense of remorse that I contributed to presenting Trump in a way that brought him wider attention and made him more appealing than he is.” Schwartz said that if he could rename the book today it would be “The Sociopath.” Trump responded by threatening to sue Schwartz. The letter demanded that Schwartz return all he earned from the book and apologize for his defamatory comments. That was four years ago. No lawsuit has followed.
His Lawyer, Michael Cohen: Trump’s personal attorney for over a decade once vowed he would never turn on Trump. The FBI raided his office and home with a search warrant. He ended up turning on Trump and pleading guilty to a variety of financial frauds. Among them were financial frauds related to hush money payments to conceal Trump’s affairs with porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal. Cohen testified, and the charging documents treat as true (famously describing Trump as “Individual One”), that Trump was a co-conspirator in that fraud. From within prison Cohen was writing his own tell all book. Trump’s steps to suppress that book hit a new low. When Cohen was released to house arrest due to Covid concerns in the prison, Trump’s DOJ put him back in the prison unless he would agree to sign a prohibition on his working on the book while out. Cohen sued claiming the obvious retaliation was a First Amendment violation. The judge agreed stating, “I’ve never seen such a clause in 21 years of being a judge and sentencing people and looking at terms of supervised release.” The book, entitled Disloyal, is scheduled for release September 8th. A forward teasing the book was released with Cohen describing Trump as “a cheat, a liar, a fraud, a bully, a racist, a predator, a con man.”
As you can see many on the above list worked closely with Trump on matters related to critical issues of national security and their criticisms of him go right to the national security risks Trump entails.
Other Prominent Republicans Against Trump.
This separate list of prominent Republicans coming out against Trump is also impressive for its diversity and Republican star power luminaries.
The list of such Republicans includes a former President, a former Secretary of State, three former State Governors, two sitting Senators (including a former Republican nominee for President), the Navy Admiral who orchestrated the raid against bin Laden and dozens more.
Former President George W. Bush: Bush notably failed to endorse Trump in 2016 but did appear at Trump’s inauguration which he described as “some weird shit.” After Charlottesville Bush delivered a speech, that while not mentioning Trump, was widely regarded as critical of him. Bush said, “Bigotry seems emboldened. Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication. Bigotry in any form is blasphemy against the American creed and it means the very identity of our nation depends on the passing of civic ideals to the next generation.” Serious question, can you ever remember a former President of a party turning against the current President from the same party?
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell: The National Security Advisor to Ronald Reagan rocketed to Republican superstar status as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during Operation Desert Storm. A declared Republican, he campaigned for both President Bushes as such. Throughout the 1990s he was frequently mentioned as a possible Republican Presidential candidate, but declined to run. He endorsed George W. Bush in 2000 and when Bush won he made Powell his Secretary of State. In that role he built the case for war with Iraq after 9/11. As with me, Powell’s loyalty to the Republican Party ended with Trump. Powell now says he will vote for Biden. Powell spoke at the Democratic National Convention saying, “Today, we are a country divided, and we have a president doing everything in his power to make it that way and keep us that way. What a difference it will make to have a president who unites us, who restores our strength and our soul.”
Senator, and former Republican nominee for President, Mitt Romney: Romney is a sitting Republican Senator and was the Republican Party’s 2012 nominee for President. In 2016 he had harsh words against Donald Trump and wrote in his wife’s name for President. Even so, when Trump won the election two seemed to bury the hatchet with Trump interviewing Romney as a potential Secretary of State. Trump chose Rex Tillerson (see above) instead. Romney was the one Republican Senator who voted to convict Trump for abuse of power in the Ukraine impeachment proceedings. Shortly after, Romney directly stated that he would not vote for Trump in 2020.
Senator Lisa Murkowski: The Republican Senator from Alaska has not yet publicly stated she will oppose Donald Trump in 2020 but says she has been “struggling” over whether to support him. In response to the blistering attack by General Mattis in June on Trump (see above) Murkowski stated, that she “thought General Mattis’ words were true, and honest and necessary and overdue.” You should go back and look at what Mattis said. Murkowski is not up for reelection herself again until 2022 but Trump has already pledged to campaign against her.
Former Ohio Governor John Kasich: A popular three term Governor for Ohio until 2019 and only term limitations forced him out. In 2016 Kasich declined to endorse Trump, but did not actively campaign against him. Things are different this time around. Kasich spoke at the Democratic National Convention, explicitly endorsing Biden and stating, “I’m a Republican but the Republican Party has always been my vehicle but never my master. You have to do what you think is right in your heart and I’m comfortable here.”
Former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger: The eight year Governor of California was once so popular in Republican circles that the only thing that kept him from Presidential or Vice Presidential consideration was that he was not a natural born citizen. In 2016 he announced he would not vote for Trump, the first time he had not voted Republican since becoming a citizen in 1983. In 2020 he declared that he is “ridin with Biden.”
Former Governor of Illinois, Jim Edgar: Edgar was a popular governor of Illinois for eight year in the 1990s. He announced that he would not vote for Trump in 2016. On August 24th Edgar announced he will vote for Biden. Edgar stated, “the real issue is character. The president of the United States isn’t going to be perfect. But you don’t want to be embarrassed . . . I don’t trust Putin. And I don’t understand why [Trump’s relationship with the Russian president] doesn’t rattle Republicans more.” Governor Edgar, neither do I.
Admiral William McRaven: His distinguished 37 year military career as a Navy Seal and Special Operations Commander culminated with his orchestrating the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden. His speech on how you can change the world by making your bed remains a viral hit and is very much worth hearing. McRaven took no public position during the 2016 election but spoke up when Trump revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director William Brennan. McRaven authored a letter in which he dared Trump to “revoke my security clearance too, Mr. President . . . so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency.” The letter continued, “If you think for a moment that your McCarthy-era tactics will suppress the voices of criticism, you are sadly mistaken. The criticism will continue until you become the leader we prayed you would be.” Not quite a year ago he authored an Op-ed in the New York Times entitled Our Republic Is Under Attack From The President.
27 Additional GOP Former Lawmakers Endorse Biden: As the Republican National Convention kicked off on August 24th more than two dozen additional Republican former lawmakers endorsed Joe Biden.