Time and again, we see how Trump loves to belittle his political base.
In a White House that appears to lack all decorum, nobody is safe from Trump’s endless insults and his mocking of people behind their backs. And those targets often include representatives from his beloved political base.
Behind closed doors, Trump doesn’t care who he makes fun of.
The latest example emerged this week after Trump took the extraordinary step of firing his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson. Trump gave no coherent reason for the drastic move, other than to suggest the two men didn’t share a “chemistry.”
The truth is that Trump often belittled Tillerson privately and made fun of Tillerson’s Southern accent.
“He mocked his mannerisms and Texas drawl, saying his secretary of state talked too slowly,” according to the Washington Post. “In conversations with advisers and friends, the president would often list others he said would do a better job than Tillerson, whom he frequently labeled ‘weak.'”
Trump’s mocking runs counter to a conservative culture war narrative that has been pushed for years: that Democrats and liberals look down on Southerners and belittle their way of life. Indeed, if President Barack Obama had ever been caught deriding a Texas drawl as “weak,” Fox News would have hammered the story for days.
The GOP also loudly brays that Democrats don’t respect the religious right. But who makes fun of it off camera? Trump.
He often privately mocks Vice President Mike Pence for his strident religious views. According to a New Yorker account last year, Trump pointed to Pence during a discussion of LGBT rights and exclaimed, “Don’t ask that guy — he wants to hang them all!”
Additionally, a White House staffer revealed that Trump will jokingly ask visitors who meet with Pence, “Did Mike make you pray?”
During the 2016 Republican primary, Trump mocked Ben Carson’s conservative Seventh-day Adventists faith.
“I’m Presbyterian,” Trump said. “Boy, that’s down the middle of the road folks, in all fairness. I mean, Seventh-day Adventist, I don’t know about. I just don’t know about.”
It’s ironic that Trump held Tillerson in low regard because of his slow pattern of Southern speech, because privately Tillerson thought very little of Trump’s intelligence. Indeed, it appears Tillerson’s relationship with Trump never recovered from a 2017 news report that Tillerson had dismissed Trump as a “fucking moron” during a private dinner with colleagues.
The description came after Pentagon officials tried unsuccessfully to explain the state of national security to Trump, during an information meeting last summer. The meeting was so unproductive, a second meeting with fewer participants was scheduled so the discussion could be slowed down to Trump’s rudimentary level of understanding.
But Trump thinks Tillerson is the slow one?