Most presidential candidates spend their entire careers, if not their lives from adolescence, preparing for the role. They rise up the ladder of elected offices, perfect a public face, and prepare themselves to win and to govern. The Trump calculation, quite a conscious one, was different. The candidate and his top lieutenants believed they could get all the benefits of almost becoming president without having to change their behavior or their worldview one whit. Almost everybody on the Trump team, in fact, came with the kind of messy conflicts bound to bite a president once he was in office. Michael Flynn, the retired general who served as Trump's opening act at campaign rallies, had been told by his friends that it had not been a good idea to take $45,000 from the Russians for a speech. "Well, it would only be a problem if we won," Flynn assured them.
Not only did Trump disregard the potential conflicts of his own business deals and real-estate holdings, he audaciously refused to release his tax returns. Why should he? Once he lost, Trump would be both insanely famous and a martyr to Crooked Hillary. His daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared would be international celebrities. Steve Bannon would become the de facto head of the tea-party movement. Kellyanne Conway would be a cable-news star. Melania Trump, who had been assured by her husband that he wouldn't become president, could return to inconspicuously lunching. Losing would work out for everybody. Losing was winning.Shortly after 8 p.m. on Election Night, when the unexpected trend -- Trump might actually win -- seemed confirmed, Don Jr. told a friend that his father, or DJT, as he calls him, looked as if he had seen a ghost. Melania was in tears--and not of joy.There was, in the space of little more than an hour, in Steve Bannon's not unamused observation, a befuddled Trump morphing into a disbelieving Trump and then into a horrified Trump. But still to come was the final transformation: Suddenly, Donald Trump became a man who believed that he deserved to be, and was wholly capable of being, the president of the United States.
As much as the president himself, the chief of staff determines how the Executive branch -- which employs 4 million people -- will run. The job has been construed as deputy president, or even prime minister. But Trump had no interest in appointing a strong chief of staff with a deep knowledge of Washington. Among his early choices for the job was Kushner -- a man with no political experience beyond his role as a calm and flattering body man to Trump during the campaign.It was Ann Coulter who finally took the president-elect aside. "Nobody is apparently telling you this," she told him. "But you can't. You just can't hire your children."
"He's a bomb thrower," said Ailes. "And a strange little fucker. But you need him. Who else is good on Israel? Flynn is a little nutty on Iran. Tillerson just knows oil.""Bolton's mustache is a problem," snorted Bannon. "Trump doesn't think he looks the part. You know Bolton is an acquired taste.""Well, he got in trouble because he got in a fight in a hotel one night and chased some woman.""If I told Trump that," Bannon said slyly, "he might have the job."
After Jared and Ivanka joined them for lunch, Trump continued to cast for positive impressions of his first week. Scarborough praised the president for having invited leaders of the steel unions to the White House. At which point Jared interjected that reaching out to unions, a Democratic constituency, was Bannon's doing, that this was "the Bannon way.""Bannon?" said the president, jumping on his son-in-law. "That wasn't Bannon's idea. That was my idea. It's the Trump way, not the Bannon way."Kushner, going concave, retreated from the discussion.Trump, changing the topic, said to Scarborough and Brzezinski, "So what about you guys? What's going on?" He was referencing their not-so-secret secret relationship. The couple said it was still complicated, but good."You guys should just get married," prodded Trump."I can marry you! I'm an internet Unitarian minister," Kushner, otherwise an Orthodox Jew, said suddenly."What?" said the president. "What are you talking about? Why would they want you to marry them when I could marry them? When they could be married by the president! At Mar-a-Lago!"
Ivanka maintained a relationship with her father that was in no way conventional. She was a helper not just in his business dealings, but in his marital realignments. If it wasn't pure opportunism, it was certainly transactional. For Ivanka, it was all business -- building the Trump brand, the presidential campaign, and now the White House. She treated her father with a degree of detachment, even irony, going so far as to make fun of his comb-over to others. She often described the mechanics behind it to friends: an absolutely clean pate -- a contained island after scalp-reduction surgery -- surrounded by a furry circle of hair around the sides and front, from which all ends are drawn up to meet in the center and then swept back and secured by a stiffening spray. The color, she would point out to comical effect, was from a product called Just for Men -- the longer it was left on, the darker it got. Impatience resulted in Trump's orange-blond hair color.
Trump, in fact, found the White House to be vexing and even a little scary. He retreated to his own bedroom -- the first time since the Kennedy White House that a presidential couple had maintained separate rooms. In the first days, he ordered two television screens in addition to the one already there, and a lock on the door, precipitating a brief standoff with the Secret Service, who insisted they have access to the room. He reprimanded the housekeeping staff for picking up his shirt from the floor: "If my shirt is on the floor, it's because I want it on the floor." Then he imposed a set of new rules: Nobody touch anything, especially not his toothbrush. (He had a longtime fear of being poisoned, one reason why he liked to eat at McDonald's -- nobody knew he was coming and the food was safely premade.) Also, he would let housekeeping know when he wanted his sheets done, and he would strip his own bed.If he was not having his 6:30 dinner with Steve Bannon, then, more to his liking, he was in bed by that time with a cheeseburger, watching his three screens and making phone calls -- the phone was his true contact point with the world -- to a small group of friends, who charted his rising and falling levels of agitation through the evening and then compared notes with one another.
As soon as the campaign team had stepped into the White House, Walsh saw, it had gone from managing Trump to the expectation of being managed by him. Yet the president, while proposing the most radical departure from governing and policy norms in several generations, had few specific ideas about how to turn his themes and vitriol into policy. And making suggestions to him was deeply complicated. Here, arguably, was the central issue of the Trump presidency, informing every aspect of Trumpian policy and leadership: He didn't process information in any conventional sense. He didn't read. He didn't really even skim. Some believed that for all practical purposes he was no more than semi-literate. He trusted his own expertise -- no matter how paltry or irrelevant -- more than anyone else's. He was often confident, but he was just as often paralyzed, less a savant than a figure of sputtering and dangerous insecurities, whose instinctive response was to lash out and behave as if his gut, however confused, was in fact in some clear and forceful way telling him what to do. It was, said Walsh, "like trying to figure out what a child wants."
like it's hard to take all of it at face value when the guy's sources are basically all a pack of amoral, lying ratfuckers, and honest to god that bit about Kushner marrying Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski reads like goddamn Andy Borowitz, but if even half of that is more or less accurate, oh my god what has this country done to itself the world
This is some fucking amazing 48 dimensional chess here.
To: dead>> This dumpster fire is not an example of "winning" in any way <<Cut it out. Your Nattering Negativism not needed. This stuff is an example of 3-D chess at its finest -- maybe even N-dimensional hyper-chess!125 posted on 1/3/2018, 2:16:59 PM by Hawthorn
In the letter to Bannon, Trump attorney Charles Harder, writes, "You [Bannon] have breached the Agreement by, among other things, communicating with author Michael Wolff about Mr. Trump, his family members, and the Company [the campaign], disclosing Confidential Information to Mr. Wolff, and making disparaging statements and in some cases outright defamatory statements to Mr. Wolff about Mr. Trump, his family members."In the letter, Trump's attorney says that "remedies for your breach of the agreement include but are not limited to monetary damages" though no dollar amount is disclosed.
Bannon has in recent weeks also alienated his main financial backer, Rebekah Mercer, after he told several other major conservative donors that he would be able to count on the Mercers' financial support should he run for president, a person familiar with the conversations said. The person said Mercer now does not plan to financially support Bannon's future projects -- and that she was frustrated by his moves in Alabama and some of his comments in the news media that seemed to stoke unnecessary fights.
At least nine major law firms had turned down an invitation to represent the president.
"I support President Trump and the platform upon which he was elected," Mercer said. "My family and I have not communicated with Steve Bannon in many months and have provided no financial support to his political agenda, nor do we support his recent actions and statements."