As I detailed earlier, Mitt Romney has had some unflattering things to say about President Trump, including that he is “very, very not smart,” and that he’s a “conman,” “a fake,” and “a fraud.” But he’s hardly alone in negatively assessing the president’s intelligence and character. In fact, those in the best positions to observe him seem to be unanimous on these points.
The most important and prestigious cabinet positions are the ones that oversee our military, our diplomacy and our economy. Here’s how Trump’s initial appointments for those positions have graded their boss:
Secretary of Defense James Mattis – Trump has the understanding of a “fifth or sixth grader.”
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson – “Trump is a “f*cking moron.”
Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin – Trump is “an idiot.”
No one works more closely with a president than their chief of staff. Trump is now on his third CoS in less than two years. Here’s what they have had to say about him:
First chief of staff Reince Priebus – Trump is “an idiot.”
Second chief of staff John Kelly – Trump is a “f*cking idiot.”
Third chief of staff Mick Mulvaney – Trump is “a terrible human being.”
For good measure, former deputy chief of staff Katie Walsh has said that “[Working with Trump is] like trying to figure out what a child wants.”
After the Chief of Staff, the National Security Adviser is the most influential aide in the West Wing. The second man to serve that role under Trump, H.R. McMaster, had this to say about his former boss: he’s an “idiot” and a “dope” with the intelligence of a “kindergartner.”
Here’s the assessment from Gary Cohn, the president’s first Director of the National Economic Council who also served as the Trump’s chief economic advisor: Trump is “dumb as sh*t,” “an idiot surrounded by clowns,” “a professional liar,” and “less a person than a collection of terrible traits.”
Here’s former White House Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor to the President Steve Bannon: “[Trump is] like an 11-year-old child.”
Another person who worked closely with Trump was his lead lawyer in defending against the Russia probe. John Dowd stepped down, however, after concluding that the president is “an effing liar.”
Of these close advisers to the president, only Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin retains his post. The rest either quit or were forced out. Of course, Trump fired his first FBI director, James Comey, who has expressed the opinion that Trump is indistinguishable from a mob boss. Trump also fired his first attorney general, and I don’t imagine that Jeff Sessions would be a good character witness for the president.
When you put all these comments beside each other, it’s clear that Donald Trump suffers from some kind of arrested development. The theme that he has a childlike mentality is constantly reiterated. The other main points are that he’s a gigantic liar and an extremely bad person.
Even some of the people formerly loyal to Trump, like his lawyer/fixer Michael Cohen and his former Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison, Omarosa Manigault Newman, have come out in the last year to give unsparing criticisms on these points.
So, as we start the new year, we should anticipate that eventually the U.S. Senate (now including Mitt Romney) will have to decide if Trump is fit to serve in the highest office in the country. Even before we get to see the report from Robert Mueller, I think the evidence is in from the people in the best position to know.