Confirming reports in the NYT and LAT, Bloomberg has obtained video from a private meeting between President Trump and about 50 American diplomats where a freewheeling, free-speaking President Trump cracked jokes about Adam Schiff and Joe Biden, and declared that whoever leaked the information about the Ukraine call to the whistleblower is "close to a spy."
In his typically off-the-cuff style, Trump vented to his audience about the whistleblower and the scandal they've unleashed, at one point accusing them of being "highly partisan" and declaring "we're at war," before adding that "these people are sick. they're sick."
Trump reminded his audience that the whistleblower "never saw the call, never saw the report" before accusing whoever gave them the information of being "basically a spy."
"I want to know who's the person, who's the person who gave the whistleblower the information? Because that's close to a spy...and you know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart, right? The spies and treason - we used to handle it a little differently than we do now."
"That's close to a spy."— Bloomberg TicToc (@tictoc) September 27, 2019
WATCH: Trump demands to know who gave information to the whistle-blower in the #UkraineTranscript that has spurred the #Impeach45 drive. More @business: https://t.co/lmgTALLGsi pic.twitter.com/WTFeEX7K96
Bloomberg described this last line as a "thinly-veiled threat" against the whistleblower, whose identity has yet to be revealed, and whoever assisted them.
The freewheeling address to about 50 diplomats gathered at the UN - a group that included UN Ambassador Kelly Craft - included comments about the 2016 election, "Sleepy" Joe Biden, and "Little" Adam Schiff, whom Trump accused of having a small neck: "He's got a neck about this big," Trump said while pressing his index finger to his thumb, indicating a very narrow circumference. "He's got shirts that are too big because you can't buy shirts that are that small. He was never a coal miner, let's put it that way."
Venturing into hyperbole, as he often does during private events, Trump boasted that Abraham Lincoln was his only predecessor to appear more presidential than Trump.
"I’m the most presidential except for possibly Abe Lincoln when he wore the hat. That was tough to beat," Trump said. But he added: "I have better hair than him."
Of course, Trump's freewheeling speech wouldn't have been complete without a shot at the Bidens: Trump accused Hunter Biden, Joe Biden's troubled son, who has struggled with substance abuse issues for most of his adult life, of improperly securing millions of dollars in business from Ukraine and China - claims that have been at the center of the Ukraine controversy. Trump didn't spare "Sleepy Joe" Biden, at one point calling him "dumb as a rock."
In one of his most entertaining admissions from the speech, which - again - was never intended to be made public, Trump told his audience that the only reason he talks about disregarding presidential term limits is because it drives liberals "crazy."
Finally, Trump directed some harsh words toward CNN and the rest of the news media. "You know these animals in the press. They're animals. Some of the worst human beings you'll ever meet," Trump said. "They're scum. Many of them are scum."
Trump soon ended his remarks, but not before praising coal miners and UN Ambassador Craft.
While the media will likely fixate on Trump's "close to a spy remarks" for some of Friday's news cycle, the leak of the video basically demonstrates that Trump's private speaking style isn't much different from how he comports himself in public.