Trump's Former Spokeswoman Recounts Ex-President Asking Who Was 'Tougher,' Xi or Erdogan
© AP Photo / Presidency Press ServiceU.S. President Donald Trump, left, talks to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, as they tour the new NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, Wednesday, July 11, 2018. NATO countries' heads of states and governments gather in Brussels for a two-day meeting.
© AP Photo / Presidency Press Service
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Former White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham has revealed some tantalizing details about her work with former US President Donald Trump, in particular, describing how Trump asked her to name who was tougher - Chinese President Xi Jinping or Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan — while in the presence of the latter.
Earlier in the day, the scandalous memoir from Grisham, titled "I'll Take Your Questions Now," shed light on the details of her work for the Trump administration. She insists that the book is expected to offer an honest account of what was going on behind the scenes in the Trump White House.
Making Officials Squirm
Grisham recalls that Trump had repeatedly said that Turkey "got screwed" during the administration of Barack Obama.
"Trump looked at our delegation, pointed to Erdogan, and said, 'This is no innocent baby, but he got screwed here,'" Grisham recalls in her book.
She admitted that Trump enjoyed seeing his administration officials squirm when he noted Turkey in such a context, she admitted.
Grisham recalled a situation when a Turkish delegation official asked for a private meeting with Trump and John Bolton, who served as the US national security adviser at that time.
"The president as he did often when referring to John Bolton, pointed at him and said, 'There he is. Congrats. Except he wants to attack every country in the world. You don't want Bolton'," she wrote, noting that Bolton did not appreciate the statement.
It was during that meeting when Trump addressed her with an unexpected question.
"...the president stopped and looked at me. 'Stephanie, who is tougher?' he asked me. 'Xi or this guy [Erdogan]?' He looked over at Erdogan, who smiled... Erdogan was staring me down, and I truly didn't know which answer would be more offensive - that he was or wasn't 'tougher' than the Chinese president. So I stuck with 'I don't know, sir, he looks pretty tough,' pointing to the Turkish president," she wrote.
After the meeting that day, Trump presented his verdict to Grisham on which of the world leaders was tougher.
"'Xi is actually a lot tougher. I've seen him in action, he is a stone-cold killer.' Whatever that meant. Maybe I didn't really want to know," Grisham recalled.
Trump's Amazement at India's Sanitary Situation
Another testy moment Grisham described was Trump's meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan when the former head of state mentioned a potential trip to India.
"[Trump recalled] the discussions he had had with [Indian Prime Minister Narendra] Modi about toilets and his amazement that so many people would use the bathroom in the streets. He couldn't get over that. India reminded him of California with all the homelessness, he said," Grisham wrote.
As Khan kept pressing about India, Trump waved his hands and started saying that everything was boring.
"Doesn't seem appropriate to talk about trade now. Boring, very boring," Trump reportedly said.
'Japan Said They Were Our Friends Right Before They Bombed Us'
During a meeting with his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Trump reportedly complained about Cairo buying Russian weapons, not the US ones, Grisham recalled.
Sisi reportedly blamed the administration of Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, for the decision.
"Trump was insisted that he could get Egypt a great deal from the United States. 'I'll approve things myself, and you'll get everything very quickly,' he said. 'I don't want you paying billions of dollars to Russia,'" she recalled.
When the Egyptian delegation replied that they were ordering aircraft from two other countries, with which they had good relations, Trump reportedly replied: "Japan said they were our friends right before they bombed us," according to the memoir.
'Frequently Said Insane Things to Foreign Leaders'
Grisham recalled that she got so used to her boss' manners that she didn't see anything wrong with Trump's infamous call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy back in 2019.
According to the transcript of the talks, which was subsequently released by the White House, Trump had asked Zelenskyy to reopen the probe into Burisma and the activities of Hunter Biden in Ukraine. Concerns emerged that Trump allegedly expected this move to help him defeat Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.
"I certainly didn't see any smoking gun in the transcript that Trump had committed an illegal act. But also, as the last chapter revealed, the president frequently said insane things to foreign leaders. Sometimes they were just silly or offensive, sometimes they were offhand remarks that would inadvertently upend the carefully crafted policies of our diplomatic and national security professionals, sometimes they were sheer bluster," Grisham wrote of the memo.
The incident eventually resulted in the US president facing impeachment procedures as Democrat lawmakers accused him of soliciting the Ukrainian authorities to influence the course of the vote. Although he was formally impeached, a Republican majority in the Senate voted down a motion to remove Trump from office.