Quantcast
Connect with us

Anonymous Trump official’s book says the president sends aides into ‘full-blown panic’ and ‘stumbles, slurs, gets confused’

Published

on

- Commentary

A new book by the anonymous Trump administration official who wrote the famous New York Times op-ed detailing a “resistance” to the president with the government is set to be released soon, and the Washington Post has obtained an early copy. It published an article describing the controversial book, which the White House called a “work of fiction.”

It’s hard to know how seriously to take the book or its author. There’s little reason to doubt that the opinion editors at the Times genuinely published the writing of an actual administration official, but without a more rigorous reporting operation behind the book, we shouldn’t be confident its contents aren’t exaggerated or even perhaps fabricated at times.

ADVERTISEMENT

The official defended their decision to stay anonymous — though not persuasively — and suggested they might eventually come forward, the Post reported:

“I have decided to publish this anonymously because this debate is not about me,” the author writes. “It is about us. It is about how we want the presidency to reflect our country, and that is where the discussion should center. Some will call this ‘cowardice.’ My feelings are not hurt by the accusation. Nor am I unprepared to attach my name to criticism of President Trump. I may do so, in due course.”

More interestingly, the author admitted that the central thesis of the original Times column was mistaken:

“I was wrong about the ‘quiet resistance’ inside the Trump administration. Unelected bureaucrats and cabinet appointees were never going to steer Donald Trump the right direction in the long run, or refine his malignant management style. He is who he is.”

This passage, however, undermines the argument for staying anonymous. It would make sense to say that, while the truth about Trump should be made public, a high-ranking official who is concerned about the president’s conduct would be best to stay anonymous and therefore retain a position to mitigate the damage coming from the White House. But if Trump can’t be mitigated, why stay anonymous? Cowardice, indeed, seems like the most natural explanation.

ADVERTISEMENT

The book also suggests that other officials in the administration are disturbed by Trump. For example, it recounted:

Senior Trump administration officials considered resigning en masse last year in a “midnight self-massacre” to sound a public alarm about President Trump’s conduct, but rejected the idea because they believed it would further destabilize an already teetering government, according to a new book by an unnamed author.

And:

ADVERTISEMENT

The book contains a handful of startling assertions that are not backed up with evidence, such as a claim that if a majority of the Cabinet were prepared to remove Trump from office under the 25th Amendment, Vice President Pence would have been supportive.

But these claims warrant the most skepticism. (Pence has denied the specific allegation.) A single person can always misunderstand a situation or make faulty inferences about others’ intentions, so relying on this account to draw conclusions about other officials is dicey business.

ADVERTISEMENT

Some of the book, however, rings true. It said that the president is suspicious of coups, doesn’t like staffers taking notes, and once yelled at an aide who was writing something down during a meeting. This is reminiscent of a section of the Mueller Report in which Trump questioned White House Counsel Don McGahn’s taking of notes. The book also said that officials sometimes wake up “in a full-blown panic” to discover Trump has tweeted something explosive that they need to clean up — this is something we have all seen many times. It also says Trump has a habit of being condescending and misogynistic toward women who work for him, which is hardly surprising and gives a devastating account of his mental health that is consistent with his public appearances:

“All I can tell you is that normal people who spend any time with Donald Trump are uncomfortable by what they witness. He stumbles, slurs, gets confused, is easily irritated, and has trouble synthesizing information, not occasionally but with regularity. Those who would claim otherwise are lying to themselves or to the country.”

But this just raises the question: If the most reliable parts of the book are the things we can already assume are true, what’s the point?

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump ‘just wants this problem to go away’: President desperate to get coronavirus ‘off his plate’

Published

on

President Donald Trump is desperate for the coronavirus problem to go away, and he doesn't exactly care how it happens.

According to New York Times reporter Annie Karni, sources are telling her that the biggest concern Trump has is more about the markets than the deaths of Americans from the virus.

"First, let's establish, this is a president who tried to change science with a Sharpie when it came to hurricane path prediction," said MSNBC host Brian Williams. "That picture lasts forever."

"Even his allies on Fox and his allies outside the White House were kind of channeling to that proverbial audience of one that this was a great opportunity to look presidential and to tell the facts," said Karni. The Donald Trump we saw out there in the briefing room was very casual, kind of left the facts to the other people that accompanied him out there. But he clearly publicly and privately just wants this problem to go away. He wants to downplay it. He thinks -- he has called people who are talking about fears about it alarmist. He doesn't want to be alarmist, and he's kind of holding on to any comment that makes it sound like this will naturally be a problem that is removed from his plate. That's what we saw publicly, and that's what he's been saying privately as well."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Seth Meyers: You know Trump isn’t the chief law enforcement officer because he couldn’t pass the physical

Published

on

"Late Night" host Seth Meyers warned that the United States is sliding into authoritarianism under President Donald Trump.

Sounding the alarm Wednesday evening, Meyers cited reports that Trump was making lists of disloyal people, purging them from their jobs, hiring unqualified cronies in top posts, and claiming he has the right to interfere in criminal cases.

While speaking to the press last week, Trump even announced that he's allowed to be involved in all criminal cases because he's the chief law enforcement officer of the United States. It's actually a title used for the attorney general.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Conservative columnist nails the infectious diseases the Trump White House is suffering from

Published

on

On Wednesday, conservative columnist Max Boot revealed the "diseases" at the heart of President Donald Trump's administration that are weakening their capacity to respond to the very real disease threat from coronavirus.

Simply put: Fevered nationalism, hatred of the civil service, and a pathological desire to erase the legacy of President Barack Obama.

"Covid-19 has already infected more than 80,000 people in 37 countries, causing more than 2,600 deaths, and experts doubt it will slow in the spring," wrote Boot. "That a virus that started in China could have a bad impact on the United States should be no surprise: Diseases don’t respect borders any more than terrorists or trade flows do. Transnational threats require transnational solutions. To cite but one example, many of the medicines and medical supplies that Americans need, including N95 face masks, come from China."

Continue Reading
 
 
close-image