Ex-Trump administration officials all seem to agree on one thing: Their former boss is a walking disaster.

Ex-Trump administration officials all seem to agree on one thing: Their former boss is a walking disaster.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump looks on during the Presidential Debate at Hofstra University on September 26, 2016 in Hempstead, New York.Drew Angerer/Getty Images
  • Ex-Trump administration officials tend to agree on one thing: Their former boss is a walking disaster.
  • Whether they're four star generals, energy company CEOs, or career civil servants, they paint a frightening picture of an unstable ignoramus in the White House.
  • Trump, naturally, calls them bitter liars. Who are you going to believe?
  • This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.

A common theme has emerged from comments made by ex-Trump administration officials. Whether they were four star generals, energy company CEOs, or career civil servants, they all say their former boss is dangerously ignorant, inexcusably incompetent, and frighteningly unstable.

In the face of this consistent and specific criticism from a slew of highly qualified people he hired, Trump's response has been to call them liars, cowards, bitter or "dumb as a rock."

The president would have the American people believe that all of these former subordinates — most of them loyal, lifelong Republicans — have got it all wrong. Only he has it right.

The question that Trump supporters or Trump-sympathetic voters need to ask themselves is: Who are you going to believe?

A brief list of ex-Trump administration officials' testimonials for the president

There's far too many to recount, so let's recall just a few of the more high-profile veterans of the Trump White House:


  • Trump's former National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, a former president and chief operating officer for Goldman Sachs, reportedly called Trump a "professional liar."
  • Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who prior to joining the Trump administration was the CEO of ExxonMobil, in a meeting at the Pentagon reportedly called Trump a "f**king moron."
  • Former National Security Adviser John Bolton, who previously served as an ambassador to the UN and has worked in three Republican presidential administrations, in his memoir called Trump "erratic" and "stunningly uninformed."
  • Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis, a four star US Marine Corps general who commanded troops in three wars, in a statement in June said Trump "tries to divide us," that he makes "a mockery of the Constitution" and that "we are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership." He also told veteran journalist Bob Woodward: "The president has no moral compass."
  • Former White House Chief of Staff and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, also a four star US Marine Corps general, has been the tightest-lipped about his time working for Trump. But he did say he agrees with Mattis' assessment of Trump, and he publicly disputed Trump's claim that he fired Mattis. That means Kelly effectively called Trump a liar.

Every ex-Trump administration official can't be a secret Democrat

Nobody circles the wagons, moves the goalposts or changes the subject quite like hardcore Trump supporters.

When audio recordings of Trump bragging that he grabs women he just by their genitals, Trumpists whatabouted their way into Bill Clinton's sordid past.

When White House advisers Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump — the president's son-in-law and daughter — were revealed to have used private email accounts to conduct government business, the same people screaming at Trump rallies to lock Hillary Clinton up simply yawned.

When reports emerged of Trump disparaging fallen members of the military as "suckers," they dismissed the anonymous sourcing out of hand. Never mind the fact that disparaging military personnel is nothing new for Trump, who has himself been an anonymous source in the media for decades.

It will never matter to Trump's base that the people who have worked intimately with the president at the highest levels of the administration think he's a dangerous, dishonest buffoon.


Theirs is a cult of personality.

As long as Trump continues to "trigger the libs," they'll abide every easily disprovable lie, every deranged conspiracy theory, and every just plain stupid thing that dribbles out of his mouth.

But the reluctant 2016 Trump voters and Never Democrat voters ought to consider the words of the Trump former administration officials. They're not secret Democratic activists. They're staunch conservatives, or in the case of the generals, devout patriots who felt it their national duty to accept the president's offers.

They've all seen Trump's leadership in action. And they've told us it is a horrifying thing to behold. Trump says they're all liars.

Who are you going to believe?