Trump Denigrated His Generals, Called Them ‘A Bunch Of P**sies,' Woodward Writes

Bob Woodward, in his new book, says the president made the remarks in front of an aide to former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

More of President Donald Trump’s disparaging remarks about U.S. military members, veterans and his own staff have come to light. This time, in reference to his generals, whom he called “a bunch of pussies.”

In a copy of Bob Woodward’s book “Rage,” obtained by HuffPost, Woodward shares an anecdote involving former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and an aide, Bradley Byers.

While signing an executive order to assess how to strengthen the manufacturing and defense industrial base, Trump was talking to both Byers and White House trader adviser Peter Navarro. Trump asked Navarro if he would take charge of negotiations on steel and criticized U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross as “weak negotiators.”

Trump then added: “Not to mention my fucking generals are a bunch of pussies. They care more about their alliances than they do about trade deals.”

President Donald Trump (center), with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis at his left, at a meeting with European Union leaders in B
President Donald Trump (center), with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis at his left, at a meeting with European Union leaders in Brussels on May 25, 2017. Mattis led the Department of Defense until January 2019.

Byers would later tell Mattis about the remark, who had Byers put it in an email to him to document it. As Woodward notes, “for the president to speak that way in front of a subordinate like Byers and others was a gross violation of a basic Leadership 101 principle ― praise in public, criticize in private.”

This anecdote from Woodward’s book, to be released next week, comes on the heels of a report in The Atlantic that said the president has repeatedly called members of the military, including fallen war heroes, “suckers” and “losers.” 

Earlier this week, Trump claimed that U.S. soldiers are in love with him. At the same White House press conference, he also said top Pentagon officials probably weren’t in love with him “because they want to do nothing but fight wars so that all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy.” His comments were widely criticized on social media, with many pushing back on the warmongering sentiment.