NYT Reporter Exposes The “Shocking” And “Shallow” Process Trump Used To Choose And Eliminate People For High-Ranking Cabinet Positions: “He Complains About Her ‘Blotchy’ Complexion”

The worst part is -- I'm honestly not even surprised.

674 points

New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt — whose upcoming paperback edition of his book, Donald Trump V. The United States: Inside the Struggle to Stop a President, is set to hit the shelves soon — sat down for a rather telling interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” where he discussed the forthcoming book and, more specifically, new revelations from Donald Trump’s ex-chief of staff, retired U.S. Marine Corps general John Kelly, who was apparently struck with quite a few “shocking” realizations upon his entry into the tumultuous Trump Administration.

Schmitt discussed the revelations made by Kelly, as part of his book promotion with MSNBC hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, who also shared some of their own past conversations with the scandal-ridden ex-president.

Scarborough opened the conversation, “Let’s talk about another aspect of it that was shocking to John Kelly, how shallow Donald Trump was when he would select people. I remember during the transition talking to him, and him talking about how Rex Tillerson was big and he looked like the role, and he loved [James] Mattis because of his nickname, ‘Mad Dog.’ He didn’t like [David] Petraeus because he thought Petraeus worked out too much. He was too drawn in, he weighed the same in high school that he weighed when Trump was talking to him, and no secretary of state could be that drawn — I’m serious.”

“I watched this conversation in awe,” Brzezinski added. “He was obsessed with how much he worked out and thought that somehow it didn’t look manly enough, like you need to not care so much.”

“Right, and so all of this leads up to, of course, a conversation, and this is the general talked about all of this with you,” Scarborough said. “It led to a conversation about Nikki Haley, why he didn’t want Nikki Haley to be secretary of state or vice president.”

Schmitt weighed in with his own thoughts, saying, “So Trump is throwing around different possibilities for replacement of Tillerson and [vice president Mike] Pence, even as far back as 2018, talking about whether he could replace Pence, and in discussing that, he says, well, you know, what do you think about Nikki Haley, he throws out in the Oval Office, and what Trump says is that she doesn’t look good for me, and he complains about her ‘blotchy’ complexion and saying that, you know, because of her aesthetics, he didn’t like her as a potential, you know, senior administration official or as a potential vice presidential replacement for Pence, who Trump was complaining as far back as then owed him, that Pence owed him because Trump had saved Pence from political ruin when he picked him in 2016 to be his vice president.”

“Obviously shocking and yet not surprising at all,” Scarborough said before blisteringly adding, “I mean, the only question, do they not have mirrors in Mar-a-Lago?”

You can watch the MSNBC segment here:

Featured image via Flickr/Gage Skidmore, under Creative Commons license 2.0

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