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The Drama-Lover’s Guide to the New Trump Books

2 1 18

For lovers of salacious political gossip that may or may not be true, January 5, 2018 was a banner day. President Trump’s legal team had threatened to sue if Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury wasn’t kept off the shelves; instead publisher Henry Holt & Co. released the White House tell-all early due to “unprecedented demand.” Within a week it was the fastest selling book in the publisher’s history and I was relishing every second of the audiobook. Trump didn’t even want to be president! His attorney “took care of” as many as one hundred potential sex scandals during the campaign! Steve Bannon predicted that Robert Mueller’s team was “going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV!”

This year, there’s been a deluge of books about the inner workings of the previous administrations from journalists on the Trump beat and former White House insiders with a scores to settle and reputations they’d like to rehabilitate; Axios reports that Trump himself has given “at least 22 interviews for 17 different books since leaving office.” While these tomes continue to sell well, I am now too cynical to devote even eight hours to “ear reading” a book whose basic take away is “Trump: not a great guy.” Therefore, please join me on this tour of the juiciest tidbits from the latest batch of Trump books. I do not know if they are true, but I do know they are darkly amusing and might even be shocking if we weren’t all numb.

Source: Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost by Michael C. Bender

The report: In this too-on-the-nose anecdote, during a trip to Europe Trump remarked to John Kelly, “Well, Hitler did a lot of good things.”

According to an anonymous source who wants us to know about Kelly’s behind-the-scenes heroism, the former chief of staff tried to school his boss on Nazi atrocities, then settled for ensuring he wouldn’t repeat this in public. From The Guardian:

But Bender says unnamed sources reported that Kelly “told the president that he was wrong, but Trump was undeterred”, emphasizing German economic recovery under Hitler during the 1930s.

“Kelly pushed back again,” Bender writes, “and argued that the German people would have been better off poor than subjected to the Nazi genocide.”

Bender adds that Kelly told Trump that even if his claim about the German economy under the Nazis after 1933 were true, “you cannot ever say anything supportive of Adolf Hitler. You just can’t.”

Source: Peril by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa

Report: A consistent theme throughout this entire genre is that everyone around Trump thinks he’s dangerously stupid, but mainly all they do about it is make fun of him behind his back. As New York contributor Ben Jacobs noted, the book reports that Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, “thought that the president was experiencing mental decline” and “Attorney General William Barr compared him to a deranged character from Dr. Strangelove.” Mitch McConnell is quoted as joking in Senate cloakroom: “Do you know why [former secretary of state Rex] Tillerson was able to say he didn’t call the president a ‘moron’? Because he called him a ‘fucking moron’.” Solid.

Source: Nightmare Scenario: Inside the Trump Administration’s Response to the Pandemic That Changed History by Yasmeen Abutaleb and Damian Paletta

Report: When it comes to moronic ideas for containing a pandemic, you’re never going to beat hmm… has anyone tried injecting bleach? But there were a lot of runners up. Abutaleb and Paletta report that in the early days of the pandemic, Trump offered a suggestion on how to handle Americans who had been diagnosed with COVID-19 abroad. “Don’t we have an island that we own?” he reportedly asked advisers assembled in the Situation Room. “What about Guantánamo?”

Aides were stunned, according to the Washington Post, and when Trump brought it up again the idea was quickly scuttled, as they worried that “quarantining American tourists on the same Caribbean base where the United States holds terrorism suspects” might cause some kind of backlash.

Source: Nightmare Scenario: Inside the Trump Administration’s Response to the Pandemic That Changed History by Yasmeen........

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