Republicans Who Criticize Trump Are Reportedly Added To His Very Own Burn Book
It may sound like a scene straight out of Mean Girls where bullies keep binders on other people. On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that Donald Trump's aides keep folders on Republicans who have criticized him in the past. These binders are reportedly meant to guide the president in selectively shunning his critics and "detractors." Trump has yet to respond to the report, and the White House has not confirmed The Post's reporting.
According to The Post, Trump's aides keep those folders to remind him of the particular moments people spoke against him. While it's not known just how many binders there, they apparently contain actual quotes to jog the president's memory. Bustle has reached out to the White House for comment.
One particular political figure, from Trump's very own Republican party, was mentioned in the report as one of the "detractors" who has been mentioned in these reported folders. That person apparently singled out in the reported folder is Sen. Bob Corker from Tennessee.
Recently, Sen. Corker has been under media spotlight for speaking against Trump, questioning his foreign policy strategies, saying that he has "debased" the nation, and calling him a negative influence on the youth of the United States. According to the Post report, the president's aides used Corker's criticism against Trump to keep the president from supporting the senator in the upcoming midterm election.
You may recall Corker as one of the few Republicans who have openly feuded with Trump. In October 2017, Corker went on CNN and criticized Trump's style of foreign policy and diplomacy. "He purposely is breaking down relationships we have around the world that have been useful to our nation," Corker said, "but I think at the end of the day, when his term is over, I think the debasing of our nation, the constant non-truth-telling, the name calling … the debasement of our nation will be what he will be remembered most for, and that's regretful."
On Twitter, Trump attacked Corker and said he was the one "who helped President [Barack Obama] give us the bad Iran Deal [and] couldn't get elected dog catcher in Tennessee." According to The Post reporters, the aides would use those examples to keep Trump from supporting Corker in his bid for reelection. On Tuesday, however, Corker put a lid on the rumors about his potential run and said he would not be competing in the election.
This isn't the first time there has been a report on such folders reportedly being created, passed around in the White House, and ultimately presented to Trump. In August 2017, Vice reported that Trump is given a folder full of good comments about him at least twice a day. One reportedly around 9 a.m. and the other around 4 p.m. Apparently, this folder is supposed to keep the president's mood positive and his spirits high.
Vice reported that the idea was brainstormed by former White House press secretary Sean Spicer and former chief of staff Reince Priebus as a way to impress Trump. Spicer denied it to Vice, saying, "While I won’t comment on materials we share with the president, this is not accurate on several levels."
In addition to a reported compliment folder and a grudge binder, The Washington Post said in December 2017 that Trump's staff reportedly tries not to include negative or critical press coverage in his daily briefings. The purpose of reportedly keeping Trump unaware of not-so-positive reviews in media is keep his mood upbeat.
So, what happens if Trump does hear about something critical of him? According to a senior intelligence official who spoke anonymously to The Post: "If you talk about Russia, meddling, interference — that takes the president's daily brief off the rails."