U.S. president Donald Trump reportedly bullied world leaders - including Prime Minister Scott Morrison - during "sadistic" phone calls. To other global leaders, including key USA allies, he was allegedly flat-out abusive.
Trump, sources quoted say, was "woefully uninformed about the history of the Syrian conflict and the Middle East generally, and said he was often caught off guard, and lacked sufficient knowledge to engage on equal terms in nuanced policy discussion with Erdogan".
Written by veteran journalist Carl Bernstein, the report claims Erdogan called "at least twice a week and was put through directly to the President on standing orders from Trump".
"He's toughest [in the phone calls] with those he looks at as weaklings and weakest with the ones he ought to be tough with", a source told CNN.
Two sources who spoke to CNN said that the former top Trump deputies concluded that the President was "delusional" in light of his dealings with foreign leaders.
"Some of the things he said to Angela Merkel are just unbelievable: he called her 'stupid, ' and accused her of being in the pocket of the Russians", the sources told CNN.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The same sources also told CNN that there was little evidence proving that the President became more skillful or competent during his highly classified calls with foreign leaders over time.
A German official confirmed to CNN that he behaved the same way in person towards female leaders. "[T] he Chancellor indeed stayed calm, and that's what she does on the phone, '" the official said.
"Trump regularly bullied and disparaged other leaders of the western alliance during his phone conversations - including French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison - in the same hostile and aggressive way he discussed the coronavirus with some of America's governors".
German officials were so alarmed by President Donald Trump's "very aggressive" conversations with Chancellor Angela Merkel that they kept their calls secret, sources told CNN.
In fact, according to some accounts, former National Security Advisor John Bolton briefed Trump on the matter as far back as March 2019, but the President it appears was simply not seized of the matter even as his critics alleged he batted for Moscow, renewing charges that he is a Russian stooge.
Putin "just outplays" Trump during their one-on-one interactions, according to CNN's report.
"From negotiating the phase one China deal and the USMCA to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies contributing more and defeating ISIS, President Trump has shown his ability to advance America's strategic interests", Matthews told TPM in a statement.