National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster was unsparingly critical of President Donald Trump at a July dinner with Oracle CEO Safra Catz, according to a report BuzzFeed News published on Monday.
McMaster called Trump an “idiot,” a “dope” and said he has the intelligence of a “kindergartner,” BuzzFeed reported, citing five unnamed sources with knowledge of McMaster’s and Catz’s conversation.
A sixth unnamed source told BuzzFeed News that McMaster made similar comments directly to the source in private, and said Trump did not have the smarts to understand the subjects the National Security Council deals with.
The White House referred TPM’s request for comment to the National Security Council, which did not immediately reply. Michael Anton, a spokesman for the council, told BuzzFeed News that “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 opposite of General McMaster’s actual views,” Anton told BuzzFeed News.
Oracle also vehemently denied that McMaster made any such remarks.
“None of the statements attributed to General McMaster were said,” Oracle senior VP for government affairs Ken Glueck told BuzzFeed News.
Two unnamed sources with knowledge of the situation told BuzzFeed News that members of Trump’s administration threatened retaliation against “several figures with knowledge of the July dinner” if they spoke to BuzzFeed News.
Glueck, however, denied that Oracle issued its response under pressure from the White House: “Ridiculous.”
McMaster would not be the first high-ranking member of Trump’s administration to call his boss’ intelligence into question: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reportedly called Trump a “moron” at a meeting in July with Trump’s national security team and other members of the administration.
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