Washington Post feature writer Ben Terris took a deep dive into the "guys," the "fraternity of oddballs" that President Donald Trump has acquired over the course of his political life.
Need to make a former mistress disappear? "I got a guy." Need to create a conspiracy in Ukraine? "I got a guy." These are Trump's "guys" he turns to in times of crisis.
Beginning with "guy" Rob Goldstone, Terris remembered, was the guy who claimed to have "dirt" on Hillary Clinton from Russia that he could send to Donald Trump Jr. Bit-players like "Scaramucci. Lewandowski. Omarosa. Seb Gorka. Carter Page. Mike Lindell and his company, My Pillow. Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas and his old company, Fraud Guarantee" will ultimately fade into the background as Trump slowly disappears.
“Whatever I do, and wherever I end up in life, I see myself a little like Monica Lewinsky,” Goldstone said. “I will always be the person who wrote that email. Jeff Toobin said to me recently, whatever you do in your life, you wrote the most famous email, perhaps of the entire century.”
He's not the only one.
"Carter Page’s exact whereabouts remain unknown," described Terris.
“That’s sort of the nature of being an international fugitive,” Page told him, even tho he isn't an international fugitive. Terris did a casual Google search and found that Page was scheduled to speak to a Republican club in Flower Mound, Texas.
Anthony Scaramucci and Omarosa Manigault-Newman have turned away from Trump, making national mea culpas to America for buying into Trump's world.
"Sean Spicer, a longtime Republican hand who launched his brief tenure as press secretary by yelling at journalists for accurately reporting on the modest crowd size at Trump’s inauguration, had a cameo at the 2017 Emmys and competed on 'Dancing With the Stars,' doing salsa to the Spice Girls in a shirt that resembled a gigantic piece of neon kelp," remembered Terris. It's unclear what Spicer is up to, his Twitter timeline reads like every other Trump-loving sycophant.
Goldstone explained that being in the Trump orbit has done nothing for him. “Which is strange, because usually knowing a president isn’t a bad thing. But there was something about even getting close to Donald Trump that seems to have forever marked you," he told Terris.
Lev Parnas said that former President Barack Obama had a circle of advisers that protect him.
“Trump doesn’t have that circle,” Parnas said. “He doesn’t have a defense circle because everyone around him is out for themselves.”
"I would walk into the Trump hotel and it was like the movie ‘Trading Places,’” he said. “Everyone would say, ‘Hello, Mr. Parnas.’ And people from the Trump circle would be there and welcome me like it was my other home.”
All it took to get into Trump's circle was some money at Trump fundraisers and events. Then Rudy Giuliani began working on his Ukraine conspiracy to try and bring down Joe Biden through his son. Parnas, like some in Trump's orbit, are now facing legal issues.
“I got emotional watching Hunter up there," Parnas said about watching footage on election Night. "And I felt so bad that I participated in helping them. But it was a cult, and I was in a war.”
Then there's Mike Lindell, the pillow guy, who now is selling oleander extract that he claims will cure COVID-19 "in five hours."
Terris described Trump as a kind of "alchemist" who can turn any respectable man into one of his "guys."
"Rex Tillerson, the former Secretary of State, was a highly successful businessman, before Trump turned him into the Guy who was reportedly fired while on the toilet," he remembered. "Spicer was a political hack with the Republican National Committee before Trump turned him into the angry Guy in a too-large suit lying about a too-small crowd."
Rudy Giuliani was the most beloved mayor in the United States. He was "America's Mayor" after 9/11. Now he's nothing more than a hysterical Trump "guy" holding voter fraud press conferences in the side yard of a landscaping company.
“And then, when the president is done,” Parnas said. “He discards them and pretends he never knew them.”