President Donald Trump mispronounced Nepal and Bhutan as “nipple” and “button” during a White House security meeting with intelligence officials, then going on to state they were part of India, it has been claimed.
John Walcott was discussing an article he wrote for Time which alleges senior intelligence sources consider the President a security risk, who exhibits “wilful ignorance” on international affairs.
CNN presenter Brooke Baldwin asked Walcott, who is the foreign policy and national security correspondent for Time, for examples of the President’s apparent ignorance on foreign affairs.
“There are a combination of things. The first one is the President’s ignorance. That goes to the point of thinking that Nepal and Bhutan — which incidentally he also mispronounced a ‘nipple’ and ‘button’ — are part of India, which they’re not,” Walcott said yesterday.
Walcott was speaking to news correspondent Brooke Baldwin, who looked incredulous and as she responded, “Wait, seriously? That’s what he said?”
“Seriously,” Walcott said.
John Walcott @TIME shares his extraordinary reporting out today “’Willful Ignorance.’ Inside President Trump’s Troubled Intelligence Briefings. Added bonus: how Trump first pronounced Nepal (“nipple”) and Bhutan (“button”). Watch: #CNN pic.twitter.com/nVdzTwlQin
— Brooke Baldwin (@BrookeBCNN) February 4, 2019
The intelligence sources had broken two years of silence and spoken with Walcott, sharing accounts of the President’s disinterest in intelligence briefings, saying if they don’t “square with his policy views or personal views he simply rejects it”.
“When he was briefed on the little Indian Ocean atoll of Diego Garcia — which is home to a very important military installation — in preparation for a meeting with Prime Minister May of Great Britain, he only had two questions.
“The first one was, ‘Are the people there nice?’ and the second one was, ‘Are the beaches good?’
“He was acting more like a real estate developer than like a President concerned about the security implications.”
Walcott described Mr Trump as having a “lack of curiosity about the world which is different from other presidents”.
Baldwin then asked Walcott about the possibility of the President turning his back on his intelligence officials.
“The real underlying concern is what might happen if the nation is suddenly hit with a real national security crisis out of the blue,” he said.
“How will the president respond? Will Trump stop and listen and think about that response first — or again, will he simply react on instinct?”