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Trump spent most national security meetings calling his predecessors 'idiots' and claiming credit for things he didn't do, book says

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donald trump satisfied grin
Former U.S. President Donald Trump. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake
  • Trump frequently complained about his predecessors at meetings and called them "idiots," a new book says.

  • Trump criticized Obama, Bush, and Clinton "for failing to do something or simply for being 'idiots,'" Fiona Hill wrote.

  • He was also "far more interested in seizing the opportunity to claim credit" for things he didn't do, she wrote.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The top Russia expert from the Trump White House said in her new book that former President Donald Trump spent most national security meetings complaining and calling his predecessors "idiots."

That's according to "There Is Nothing For You Here: Finding Opportunity in the 21st Century," by Fiona Hill.

Hill served as an intelligence analyst from 2006 to 2009, under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. In 2017, she was appointed deputy assistant to the president and senior director for European and Russian affairs on the National Security Council under Trump.

"I soon would have the opportunity to observe firsthand - over and over again - that Trump was far more interested in seizing the opportunity to claim credit and say he had done 'amazing things' for people, things that 'nobody had ever done before,' than in engaging in the hard work necessary for real accomplishments," she writes in her memoir.

Hill went on to say that most of the meetings she participated in while working for the Trump administration "would degenerate into some prolonged criticism of his predecessors - Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and occasionally George H. W. Bush - for failing to do something or simply for being 'idiots' and then Trump claiming success for himself wherever they had failed."

Indeed, Trump frequently and publicly criticized Obama, Bush, and Clinton and claimed credit for things that happened under previous administrations.

In one instance Hill highlighted, Trump claimed in August 2019 that the US steel industry was dead before he took office and that he had revived it.

"This was not the case," Hill wrote. "He further asserted that no new steel mills had been built in the U.S. for thirty years before he came into office, which was not true. Then he claimed that plans for new steel plants in the U.S. were the direct result of his intervention, even when expansion plans had been under way for years."

Trump also repeatedly took credit for the passage of the Veterans Choice Act.

"We passed VA Choice and VA Accountability to give our veterans the care that they deserve and they have been trying to pass these things for 45 years," he said in May 2019. In fact, the measure first passed in 2014, when Obama was president.

He also routinely told half-truths about the economy and unemployment.

"We built the greatest economy in history," Trump said in September 2020, during a presidential debate with then-Democratic candidate Joe Biden.

In fact, according to Reuters, the economy added roughly 2.5 million jobs per year in Obama's second term, which is higher than the 2.1 million jobs added per year during Trump's first three years in office.

A spokesperson for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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