Trump’s ‘delusional’ and ‘near-sadistic’ calls with leaders are ‘so unhinged officials fear he is a security threat’ – The Sun

PRESIDENT Donald Trump's erratic behavior and worrying phone conversations with world leaders have made US officials believe he's a national security threat, a new report claims.

One source told journalist Carl Bernstein Trump behaved in a "near-sadistic" manner toward German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Bernstein, who is best known for his reporting on the Watergate scandal in the 1970s, spoke to multiple people anonymously over four months for his damaging CNN report published on Monday.

The White House didn't respond to CNN's request for comment before publication.

The president's July 25 conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which he asked Zelensky to investigate his political rival Joe Biden, is the most highly publicized example of Trump endangering US national security.

That phone call and the subsequent cover-up attempts led to his impeachment, during which Democrats accused Trump of compromising national security for his political interests.

Trump was portrayed as belittling US allies while flattering autocratic leaders, convincing administration officials – including former national security adviser John Bolton and former chief of staff John Kelly – to believe he's "delusional", according to Bernstein.

The president forced French President Emmanuel Macron to listen to lectures and verbal "whippings" on topics like immigration, trade, and NATO, a source told Bernstein.

A person familiar with Trump's calls with leaders from Australia, Canada, Russia, Turkey, and Western Europe described them as "abominations", according to the news outlet.

Trump's interactions with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan were cited as examples of his lack of preparedness on crucial issues.

The president's phone calls with Putin were "like two guys in a steam bath", sources told CNN, in which he repeatedly praised the Russian leader and boasted about his own business acumen.

Trump "gave away the store" when he "instinctively" decided to pull US troops from Syria after a call with Erdogan, another source claimed, essentially handing a huge victory to both Turkey and Russia.

"Erdogan took him to the cleaners," the source told the network.

At one point, Trump considered prohibiting all officials from listening to his calls with world leaders, a move that would have caused a catastrophe, intelligence veterans told CNN.

Bernstein's report generally confirmed details previously reported by other outlets.

The shocking revelations came as reports claimed Trump was given a written briefing in February that said Russian military paid militants bounties to kill US troops in Afghanistan.

The New York Times report emerged as the White House tried to downplay claims that Russia had rewarded such killings.

The White House had claimed that Trump was never briefed on the matter, but two officials told The Times that the intelligence was first presented to the president several months ago.

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