President Trump decided to appoint Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as White House national security adviser only grudgingly, saying he “looks like a beer salesman” in a civilian suit, according to the newly released book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.
The president’s first choice was a general who was superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point who he felt looked the part. He had not been impressed by McMaster’s try-out, which included a detailed discussion of global geopolitics, book author Michael Wolff claims.
“That guy bores the shit out of me,” Trump allegedly said after McMaster left the room.
The White House has strongly disputed the accuracy of Wolff’s bombshell book, which was written after he was given wide-ranging access to the White House during the early months of the administration. Trump’s private attorney issued a cease-and-desist order to the book’s publisher. Other journalists have also taken issue with many of the book's assertions.
The book claims Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, convinced Trump to take another meeting with McMaster, who “showed up without his uniform and in a baggy suit.”
Trump decided to hire McMaster after the second meeting but said he did not want to have any more meetings with him, according to Fire and Fury.
“He looks like a beer salesman,” Trump allegedly said.
But the president changed his opinion after McMaster made a television news appearance, saying "the guy sure gets good press."
Former senior White House strategist Steve Bannon, who plays a prominent role in the book, had been lobbying the president to fill the national security adviser position with John Bolton, who served as ambassador to the United Nations in the George W. Bush administration.
“Bolton’s mustache is a problem,” the book claims Bannon said. “Trump doesn’t think he looks the part.”