A new 417-page book by Washington Post reporters Philip Rucker and Carol D. Leonnig reveals the president as “dangerously uninformed” at times during his first three years in office. In A Very Stable Genius, Trump is quoted as saying it was “unfair” that companies “aren’t allowed to pay bribes to get business overseas,” referencing the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 that restricts U.S. firms and individuals from doing so. “We’re going to change that,” he added. Early in his presidency, the book reveals that Trump participated in an HBO documentary featuring judges, lawmakers, and presidents reading aloud from the Constitution. Trump clearly struggled with reading the text and was quoted as saying, “it’s like a foreign language,” the authors write.
In another scene, Trump said that Colbie Holderness—one of the ex-wives of former White House staff secretary Rob Porter who was ousted amid domestic abuse allegations from his two ex-wives—may have “purposefully ran into the refrigerator to give herself bruises and try to get money out of Porter,” referencing a viral photo that showed Holderness with a black eye.
Towards the end of the book, the authors describe Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller’s shock after reading Attorney General William P. Barr’s initial four-page summary of Mueller’s 448-page report. “Members of the special counsel team would later describe Mueller’s reaction: He looked as if he’d been slapped.”