In July 2021, several news outlets and social media posts reported that former President Donald Trump had castigated some of his unnamed former aides and staffers as being “made of garbage.”
For example, on July 16, HuffPost wrote:
Donald Trump once vowed he’d hire only “the best and most serious people” as president. Now, he’s admitting he hired “garbage” instead. In a new statement, Trump attacked the members of his administration who are now speaking out in a wave of new books, saying, “Nobody had ever heard of some of these people” until he hired them. “Many say I am the greatest star-maker of all time,” Trump stated. “But some of the stars I produced are actually made of garbage.”
Those screenshots were authentic, and the statement was real. As such, we are issuing a rating of “Correct Attribution.”
On July 15, Trump published the statement on his website, DonaldJTrump.com. An archived version of it can be found here. In full, the statement reads as follows:
Nobody had ever heard of some of these people that worked for me in D.C. All of a sudden, the Fake News starts calling them. Some of them—by no means all—feel emboldened, brave, and for the first time in their lives, they feel like “something special,” not the losers that they are—and they talk, talk, talk!
Many say I am the greatest star-maker of all time. But some of the stars I produced are actually made of garbage.
The former president appears to have been referring to a wave of recent unflattering coverage related to the forthcoming publication of several “tell-all” accounts of his presidency, including the claim that Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a Trump appointee, discussed his concern that Trump might attempt to trigger a coup, after his defeat to Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election, and likened the outgoing president to Adolf Hitler.
In another of the eight statements he published on July 15 alone, Trump described Milley’s characterizations as “ridiculous,” accused him of “trying to curry favor with the Radical Left,” and said “if I was going to do a coup, one of the last people I would want to do it with is General Mark Milley.”