After persuing a Bloomberg report of Donald Trump's days at Mar-a-Lago where associates of the former president attempted to paint a portrait of a man luxuriating in daily praise, columnist Frank Bruni wrote that he read between the lines and came away believing Trump is miserable with his current lot.
According to Bloomberg's Joshua Green, "At every moment of his day, Trump is bathed in adulation. When he enters the dining room, people stand and applaud. When he returns from golf, he's met with squeals and selfie requests. When he leaves Mar-a-Lago, he often encounters flag-waving throngs organized by Willy Guardiola, a former professional harmonica player and anti-abortion activist who runs weekly pro-Trump rallies in Palm Beach."
Bruni, for his part, isn't buying it.
"That wasn't my main impression or the moral I took away from the story, which was published in Bloomberg," the columnist wrote."I stopped at, and dwelled on, this passage: 'He'll show up to anything. In recent weeks, Trump has popped into engagement parties and memorial services. A Mar-a-Lago member who recently attended a club gathering for a deceased friend was surprised when Trump sauntered in to deliver remarks and then hung around.'"
"Sounds to me like a man with an underfed appetite for attention. Sounds like a glutton yanked away from the buffet," Bruni suggested.
According to the columnist, all evidence seems to suggest that Trump is having a problem with his departure from the public eye, accompanied by his banning from every major social media platform.
"Trump's is a tale of how much a man will do to be noticed, how much he can do with that notice and — the current chapter — what happens when that notice ebbs. Yes, he personifies the American obsessions with wealth and with power. But more than that, he personifies the American obsession with fame," he wrote. "It's an obsession now starved. Facebook revoked Trump's access. Twitter, too. He no longer leads the news every hour on CNN and MSNBC, and there are now newspaper front pages aplenty without his name in any headline."
Adding, "there's a personal psychodrama going on," Bruni suggested, "In his head he can probably already hear that magic MAGA applause. It's stuck there like the chorus of a Top 40 song, but he wants it performed live, in an arena as mammoth as his neediness. The substitute for that applause? Deference. He demands it every bit as much as he ever did and arguably grows more furious than before when he's denied it."
"Has he settled comfortably into a routine? Or has he sunk uncomfortably into a rut?" Brunie wrote before concluding, "I lean toward the latter, which is as dangerous for us as it is for him. No good comes of an ego as ravenous as his. He will make a meal of the Republican Party — and of American democracy itself — if he can."
You can read the whole piece here.
According to a report from the New York Times, former White House Counsel Don McGahn was informed last month that the Justice Department sought his phone records, and those of his wife, back in 2018.
Coming on the heels of revelations that Donald Trump's administration subpoenaed Apple for information on two Democratic lawmakers while searching for leaks, the Times is reporting that McGahn was also targeted.
According to the Times, "Apple told Donald F. McGahn II, the White House counsel to former President Donald J. Trump, last month that the Justice Department had subpoenaed information about an account that belonged to him in February 2018, and that the government barred the company from telling him at the time, according to two people briefed on the matter."
The report continues, "Mr. McGahn's wife received a similar notice from Apple, said one of the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter," before adding, "It is not clear what F.B.I. agents were scrutinizing, nor whether Mr. McGahn was their specific focus. In investigations, agents sometimes compile a large list of phone numbers and email addresses that were in contact with a subject, and seek to identify all those people by using subpoenas to communications companies for any account information like names, computer addresses and credit card numbers associated with them."
You can read more here.
Fox News pundit Marie Harf on Sunday lashed out at her colleagues in conservative media after they criticized a Black journalist for complaining about the way former President Donald Trump's fans police the use of the American flag.
During an appearance on MSNBC last week, New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay said that she was "really disturbed" when she witnessed "dozens and dozens of pickup trucks with [expletives] against Joe Biden on the back of them, Trump flags, and, in some cases, just dozens of American flags."
"Essentially, the message was clear ... 'This is my country. This is not your country. I own this,'" she explained.
In a statement, The New York Times said that comments made by Gay had been "irresponsibly taken out of context."
"Her argument was that Trump and many of his supporters have politicized the American flag," the Times noted. "The attacks on her today are ill-informed and grounded in bad faith."
Harf pointed out that criticism of Gay had come from conservative outlets like Fox News.
"I do think some of the media coverage on the right particularly was bad faith," Harf told Fox News host Howard Kurtz. "Look, there is a question in this country -- I have encountered it -- where people on the right accuse me as a Democrat of not being patriotic. They say they own patriotism, they own the flag and they get to decide what that means."
"Did she perfectly give voice to that concern that many of us have?" she continued. "No. Of course. It wasn't perfect. I don't think she was saying that American flags in and of themselves bother her."
Harf added: "Some of the media response was in bad faith. I do think Trump supporters, many of them I've encountered, seem to think they get to define what patriotism is. We should have that conversation not in a bad faith way in the media."
Kurtz, however, did not seem interested in having a conversation about the misuse of patriotism. Instead, he moved on to the next segment.
Watch the video below from Fox News.
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