Eye-Opening Quotes From Michael Wolff’s Siege: Trump White House (Part Four)

45. “It was a badly kept secret in foreign policy circles that Mohammed bin Salman–MBS–had a cocaine problem and could disappear for days or longer on benders, or on long and frightening (at least for other passengers) trips on his yacht.  He also spent hours every day planted in front of a screen playing video games.  Like Trump, he was often described as a petulant child.” (from Chapter Nineteen – Khashoggi, pg. 247)

46. “In frequent contact with the Crown Prince, Kushner effectively became a crisis manager for him.  To that end, he also bec[a]me the White House’s most prolific leaker of Saudi conspiracy theories and disinformation.

[snip]

Kushner, in an off-the-record conversation with a reporter, [falsely] argued the crux of the Saudi case: ‘This guy [Khashoggi] was the link between certain factions in the royal family and Osama [bin Laden].  We know that.  A journalist?  Come on.  This was a terrorist masquerading as a journalist.'” (pg. 248)

47. “…to one of his after-dinner callers [in a conversation regarding MBS’ possible involvement in Jamal Khashoggi’s assassination], [Trump] put it somewhat differently [from what he had been saying publicly]: ‘Of course he killed him–he probably had good reason.  Who gives a fuck?’ (pg. 252)

48. “Kushner suggested to the Crown Prince that he should order the arrest and quick execution of fifteen plotters involved in Khashoggi’s assassination.  He was considering that, said MBS.” (pg. 252)

49. “Trump, sick of the Khashoggi mess, was privately blaming Kushner for it.  ‘I told him to make peace,’ said Trump to a caller.  ‘Instead he makes friends with a murderer.  What can I do?'” (pg. 256)

50. “In the fall of 2017, Trump told multiple confidants that Haley had given him a blow job–his words…What was far from certain was that what he had said was true, and few around him gave it much credence.

Haley was enraged by reports of a relationship with Trump, adamantly denying that there was any truth whatsoever to this suggestion.”  (from Chapter 20 – October Surprises, pgs. 259-260)

51. “Trump, speaking about his choice of women, had once told Tucker Carlson that he liked a ‘little chocolate in his diet.’

Trump himself told a story about being ridiculed by friends for sleeping with a black woman.  But the morning after, he had looked at himself in the mirror and was reassured that nothing had changed–he was still the Trumpster.  He offered this anecdote to show that he was not a racist.” (pgs. 266-267)

52. “The president also talked confidently about Nancy Pelosi, the likely new Speaker of the House.  He told his friend he hoped she would make it and not ‘get voted out by the rebels.’  She was going on seventy-nine, he repeated several times.  She looked good, he noted, commenting that maintaining her appearance must take a lot of time.  Meanwhile, he said, they got along.  Got along fine.  They had always understood each other.  It would be great if she got to be Speaker again…he knew how to handle Nancy.  Not a problem.  He knew what she wanted.  She wanted to look good.  ‘I know how to set it up,’ said the president.

(from Chapter Twenty-Two – Shutdown, pgs. 282-283)

53. “…senior advisor and immigration hard-liner Stephen Miller, whom Trump described as ‘autistic’ and ‘sweaty.'”  (pg. 286)

54. “The president’s extreme mood swings were alarming for almost everyone.  His rages were now greater and his coherence more in question; Sean Hannity told Steve Bannon that Trump seemed ‘totally fucking crazy.'”

(pg. 287)

55. “New York’s Jerry Nadler–who Trump, during a fight over real estate development in New York in the 1990s, had called a ‘fat little Jew’–would lead the Judiciary Committee…” (pg. 289)

56. “Trump has long admired Ann Coulter’s ‘mouth,’, as well as–he always made sure to mention–her ‘hair and legs.’…Invited to Trump Tower during the transition, she had lectured the president-elect mercilessly, using frequent f-bombs; she was particularly scathing about his ‘fucking moron idea’ to hire his family.  And yet because of her sharp tongue, Trump admired her.  ‘She cuts people down–they don’t get up,’ he said about Coulter with awe.  ‘Great, great television.'” (pgs. 291-292)

57. “‘Honestly, his voice was breaking,’ said the friend.  ‘Ann really fucked him up.  The base, the base.  He was completely panicked.’

On Friday, December 21, responding directly to Coulter’s taunts, Trump abruptly reversed course and refused to accept any compromise on the budget bill because it contained no funding for the Wall.  At midnight, the government shut down [for 35 days].” (pg. 292)

58. “In the White House, the president, to general surprise, announced that he would not accompany his family to Mar-a-Lago over the holidays…

[snip]

“…the stay-behind president became obsessed with the Secret Service detail patrolling the White House grounds, finding them perched in trees in ‘blackface,’ he reported to callers, with their machine guns pointed at him.  He tried to catch their attention, waving from the windows, but they blanked him.  ‘Spooky,’ he said.  ‘Like I’m a prisoner.'” (p.293)

59. “In an empty White House, a young assistant brought his papers and call sheets from the West Wing up to the residence, finding him, she told friends, in his underwear.

[snip]

Trump, who had first taken notice of the woman during the transition, kept repeating, ‘She’s got a way about her,’ his signature, and creepy, stamp of approval for young women.  Now the president was telling friends that he wasn’t staying at the White House because of the shutdown–he was staying because he was ‘banging’ the young West Wing aide.” (pg. 294)

60. “…there was the RICO investigation in New York, which could easily bring about Trump’s personal financial destruction–all those loan applications, all that potential banking fraud.

‘This is where it isn’t a witch hunt–even for the hard core [Trump supporters], this is where he turns into just a crooked business guy, and one worth fifty million dollars instead of ten billion dollars,’ said Bannon, ever on the edge of disgust.  ‘Not the billionaire he said he was, just another scumbag.'” (pg. 299)

61. “…he delivered a scornful critique of Robert Mueller:  ‘What an asshole.'”

(from Epilogue – The Report, pg. 315)

62. “‘Am I safe?’ Trump persisted in asking the caller.  ‘Am I safe?’

He answered his own question:  ‘They are going to keep coming after me.'” (pg. 315)

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Wednesday, September 25, 2019
2:37 a.m.

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Published in: on September 25, 2019 at 2:38 am  Leave a Comment  

Eye-Opening Quotes From Michael Wolff’s Siege: Trump White House (Part Three)

34. “Their interview proceeded in a flirty way–Trump playing hard to get and dismissive, Hannity excruciatingly unctuous.

Watching Hannity’s performance, Carlson’s executive producer said, ‘I’m gay and I’ve never hit on a man that hard.’

Trump began the interview with Hannity by needling him for incorrectly identifying the number of NATO nations in his first question (with everyone surprised that Trump in fact seemed to know the correct number).  ‘Tucker wouldn’t screw that up,’ Trump said to a stricken Hannity.  ‘He knows how many NATO countries there are.  You ever watch his show?  I watch it every night.  I’ll let you redo the question, go ahead.'” (pg. 178)

35. “Trump suddenly began screaming to aides about Mattis and his transgender tolerance.  ‘He wants to give trannies operations. ‘Learn to fire a gun and I’ll give you an operation,” Trump mimicked in his mincing voice.”

(pg. 181)

36. “The [National] Enquirer…had worked closely with the film producer Harvey Weinsten, who set up a production deal for American Media in return for its agreement not to publish stories about the cascading sexual harassment and abuse allegations that would eventually doom him.  AMI also joined with Arnold Schwarzenegger, the ex-bodybuilder, former governor of California, and repeat sexual harasser, who, in exchange for the magazine’s silence, used his influence to help the company buy a group of fitness magazines.”

(from Chapter Sixteen – Pecker, Cohen, Weisselberg, pgs. 210-211)

37. “Roger Ailes, the creator of Fox News, with whom Trump was actively discussing his media future in the fall of 2016, called [National Enquirer head David] Pecker ‘Trump’s water-boy idiot.’  Added Ailes: ‘An idiot needs an even bigger idiot to get his water.'” (pg. 211)

38. “…[Marc] Kasowitz, terrified that his offices would be raided like Cohen’s, defended himself to friends by enumerating how many women he had handled for Trump without a hiccup.” (pg. 215)

39. “On August 24, The Wall Street Journal reported that David Pecker had cut a deal to testify.  The same day, the Journal reported that Weisselberg had also accepted an immunity deal and had testified several weeks before.

‘The Jews always flip,’ said Trump.

[snip]

“He developed a riff on the horrors that an Orthodox Jew would probably encounter in jail, one that sketched a vivid picture of a tattooed Nazi cell mate.

[snip]

…Cohen was ‘the only stupid Jew,’ and Weisselberg was the financial adviser whose name, after more than forty years, Trump took delight in mangling (‘Weisselman,’ ‘Weisselstein,’ ‘Weisselwitz’).  Pecker was often mocked by Trump as ‘Little Pecker,’ and his mustache was the target of derisive and obscene remarks.  (Curiously, Pecker bore a resemblance to Trump’s father, who also wore a mustache.)” (pg. 217)

40. “…the special counsel’s budget request had been approved–they had survived that bureaucratic hurdle.  (Trump many not have ever understood that the budget process was a weapon that he could have used against the special counsel–it appeared that no one had told him.)…for all of Trump’s threats, he had made no real moves to interfere with the special counsel’s work and mission.” (pg. 219)

41. “…Trump started to focus on abortion.  Here he was on thin ice:  whenever the issue came up, after only a few sentences of discussion, he would often begin to waver.  His now-standard right-to-life view would revert to his previous, pro-choice view.  In late August, weeks after nominating Kavanaugh, Trump wanted to know:  Was this guy part of a Catholic plot to abolish abortion?

Suddenly alive to the reality of a no-Protestant Court, he continued needing reassurance that Brett Kavanaugh was not just out to make abortion illegal…Kavanaugh, he was told, was a ‘textualist’…Abortion was far from his number one issue.

…Trump felt like he wasn’t getting the full story.” (from Chapter Eighteen – Kavanaugh, pg. 235)

42. “Trump, it seemed, could not get enough of this story.  ‘He pushed her down on the bed and that’s it?’  How long had he held her down?  Trump wanted to know.  ‘Did he just fall on her and go in for a kiss?  Or was it humping?’

When Trump was told that Kavanaugh’s friend Mark Judge, who [Christine] Blasey Ford claimed was in the room, had written a book about his drunken exploits in high school, Trump whacked himself alongside the head.  ‘What kind of idiots did you get me here?’

[snip]

‘This is embarrassing…Catholic school boys.’

[snip]

As Blasey Ford’s story instantly came to dominate the news, Trump conceived quite a sudden level of dripping contempt for Kavanaugh.  ‘He seems weak.  Not strong.  He was probably molested by a priest.’

[snip]

The White House and the Kavanaugh team nixed a possible CBS interview, believing that the nominee couldn’t hold up under hostile questioning…the White House agreed to the promise of a soft interview at Fox, with the questions provided beforehand.

During this treacly sit-down on September 24, a defeated and self-pitying Kavanaugh said he was a virgin in high school and for a long time thereafter.  Trump could barely believe it.  ‘Stop!  Who would say that?  My virgin justice.  This man has no pride!  Man?  Did I say man?  I don’t think so.’

Trump seemed eager to cut his losses and move on.  Only several bracing warnings…prevented the president from sending out a tweet dumping his nominee.” (pg. 241)

43. “Trump’s ire rose yet further when he learned that George W. Bush–among the politicians that Trump scorned most–had come to Kavanaugh’s defense, and that many Republicans believed it was Bush who was keeping the nomination alive.

‘The drunks stick together,’ said Trump.  ‘If he’s a Bush guy, he’s not a Trump guy.  It’s bull that we can depend on him.  Virgin-man will sell me out.'” (pgs. 241-242)

44. “…Trump expressed further concern about whether Kavanaugh was capable of handling himself in a tense public situation.  He began to pass instructions and advice:  ‘Admit to nothing.  Zero!’  He wanted aggression.

[snip]

‘I don’t think he’s that tough,’ Trump would then conclude.

Through it all, there seemed to be an implicit recognition on the president’s part that what Blasey Ford had said was probably true.  ‘If it wasn’t true,’ he offered, ‘she would have claimed rape or something, not just a kiss.'”

…Trump watched Blasey Ford’s testimony in the residence before coming down to the West Wing.  He was on the phone with friends almost the entire time.  ‘She’s good,’ he kept saying.  He thought Kavanaugh was in ‘big trouble.’

That afternoon, watching Kavanaugh’s performance, he was deeply displeased.  He seemed personally offended that Kavanaugh had cried during this testimony.  ‘I wanted to slap him,’ he said afterward to a caller.  ‘Virgin crybaby.’

But he also claimed credit for the fact that Kavanaugh admitted to nothing.  ‘You can’t even admit to a handshake,’ he told the same caller.  He digressed to ‘my friend Leslie Moonves,’ the chairman of CBS, who had recently been under fire after a series of #MeToo accusations.  ‘Les admitted to a kiss.  He’s done.  Forget about it.  When I heard about the kiss, I thought, Done, finished.  The only person who has survived this stuff is me.  I knew you couldn’t admit to anything.  Try to explain, dead.  Apologize, dead.  If you admit to even knowing a broad, dead.’

…seeing the strong Kavanaugh reviews on Fox, Trump’s views seemed to shift.  ‘Every man in this country thinks this could happen to him,’ he told a friend.  ‘Thirty years ago you try to kiss a girl, thirty years later she’s back–boom.  And what kind of person remembers a kiss after forty years?  After forty years she’s still upset?  Give me a break.  Give.  Me.  A.  Break.'”

(pgs. 242-243)

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Wednesday, September 25, 2019
2:27 a.m.

Published in: on September 25, 2019 at 2:27 am  Leave a Comment  

Eye-Opening Quotes From Michael Wolff’s Siege: Trump White House (Part Two)

12. “‘If he was in a bad mood and we were going from office to boardroom–we had to go through the Trump Tower lobby–with these eastern European tourists looking at the waterfall–‘God’s urinal,’ he called it–I would scan for an attractive woman.  ‘Hey,’ I’d say, ‘at six o’clock.’

Girls were the constant.  ‘Erik [Whitestone], go get her, and bring her up.’  And so, me:  ‘Mr. Trump wants to know if you want to come up and see the boardroom.’  He’d hug them and grope them and send them on their way.’

Riding in the limo, ‘He’d just roll down the window and say, ‘What’s up?’ to the ladies.  ‘Hello, ladies…’ to two hot girls.  ‘That was fun,’ he’d say, ‘remind me to do that again.'” (pg. 81)

13. “Once, coming back from Chicago, a young woman, an attractive interior designer who was pitching Trump on a project, hitched a ride on Trump’s plane.  [Whitestone:] ‘He led her into the bedroom with a mirrored ceiling…She comes out, half an hour later, dress ripped off, staggering out, she sits in the seat…and then he comes out with his tie off, shirt untucked, and says, ‘Fellas…just got laid.'” (pg. 82)

14. There was always one or another of Trump’s assistants in the car with him.  [Whitestone:] ‘All his executive assistants were superhot.  ‘Come with us,’ he’d order one of them on the way out to the limo.  He and she sitting next to each other as he tries to grope her, with her blocking him like she’s done it a hundred times before.'”

(pg. 82)

15. “[Whitestone:] ‘…at the hospital, when his grandchild was born, Don Jr.’s kid, [Trump said], ‘Why the fuck do I have to go see this kid?  Don Jr. has too many fucking kids.'” (pg. 82)

16. “[Whitestone:] ‘He’s got a plan.  I’m going to do his campaign commercials: [Trump says:] ‘I want you to use our boardroom set and get a bunch of Arabs and all their Arab gear and we’ll put a sign on the table that says, ‘OPEC’ and we’ll have them going, ‘Hoooluuuuluuuhooo, hoooluuulyyhoood,’ and we’ll have this subtitle, ‘Death to the Americans,’ or ‘We’ll Screw the Americans,’ and then I’ll walk in and I’ll say a bunch of presidential bullshit…and then we’ll make it go viral.'” (pg. 83)

17. “As Whitestone knew, the unbound Trump, to which the insiders at The Apprentice were regularly exposed, was captured on thousands of hours of outtakes.  Those fabled tapes still exist, but they are not controlled by Burnett and MGM.  ‘Like the ark of the covenant in Raiders of the Lost Ark, [they are] somewhere on a pallet, wrapped in tape, in a desert outside of Los Angeles.  Eighteen cameras shooting almost twenty-four hours a day are saved on DVDs…We didn’t have hard drives.” (pg. 83)

18. “Whitestone remembered certain moments with particular clarity.

‘Someone said ‘cunt’ and someone else said, ‘You can’t say ‘cunt’ on TV,’ and Donald said, ‘Why can’t you say ‘cunt’?’ and said ‘Cunt, cunt, cunt, cunt.  There, I’ve said it on TV.  Now you can say it.’

And: ‘You’re very pretty, stand up, walk over here, turn around.’  [There was] constant dialogue about who has better tits and then bitter fights with producers about not using this.  ‘Why can’t we?’ he’d say.  ‘This is great.  This is great television.'” (pg. 83)

19. “[Whitestone:] ‘He was as incoherent then…no more, no less…as he is now, repeating thoughts and weird phrases…His weird sniffing thing (‘I have hay fever’)…” (pg. 83)

20. “Sam Nunberg, testifying before the Mueller grand jury, said that when he worked at Trump Tower in the years before the campaign, he saw [Trump’s fixer Michael] Cohen with bags of cash.  Cohen was, for Trump, literally a bag man, dealing with women and other off-the-books issues.” (pg. 84)

21. “…the Trumps had lived a don’t-ask-don’t-tell life…helped by the considerable distance between them allowed by their ample real estate, including at least one house near his golf club in the New York suburbs that Trump kept carefully hidden from his wife…” (from Chapter Seven – The Women, pg. 90)

22. “Melania sometimes spoke Slovenian with Barron, particularly when her parents were around–and they were frequently around–infuriating Trump and causing him to bolt from any room they were in.” (pg. 92)

23. “Even beyond their separate bedrooms in the White House–they were the first presidential couple since JFK and Jackie to room apart–much of Melania’s time was spent in a house in Maryland where she had installed her parents and established what was effectively a separate life for herself.

This was the arrangement.  For Trump, it was workable; for Melania, quite a bit less so.” (pgs. 92 & 93)

24. “Trump had a fetish about being the tallest person in the room; by 2018 Barron, after a sudden growth spurt, was already approaching six feet.  ‘How do I stunt his growth?’ became a chronic mean joke made by Trump about his son’s height.” (pg. 93)

25. “In the fall of 2017, as the New York Times and the New Yorker focused to devastating effect on Harvey Weinstein’s long history of sexual predation, Trump was busily defending him.  ‘Good guy,’ he would say about Weinstein, ‘good guy.’  He was sure that like the Russia investigation this, too, was a witch hunt.  What’s more, he knew Harvey, and Harvey would get away with it.  That was the thing with Harvey, said Trump–he always got away with it.  It was the casting couch, the casting couch!  For every girl who now had her panties in a twist, Trump claimed, there were fifty others, a hundred others, eager and willing.” (pgs. 93-94)

26. “Trump himself had not even an inkling of the new sensitivity regarding women and sex.  ‘I don’t need Viagra,’ he declared to everyone else’s general mortification at a dinner party in New York during the campaign.  ‘I need a pill to make my erection go down.'” (pg. 94)

27. “Nobody discounted the possibility, as a whole genre of stories and theories had it, that the rumoured elevator video of Trump striking Melania might in fact exist.  Inside the White House, the view was that if the video did exist, the incident had happened in Los Angeles, probably in 2014 after a meeting with lawyers that had been arranged precisely to negotiate a revision in their marital agreement.” (pg. 97)

28. “‘I only fuck beautiful girls–you can attest to that,’ he said to a Hollywood friend who visited the White House.  (He had once left a voice-mail message for Tucker Carlson, who had criticized Trump’s hair:  ‘It’s true you have better hair than I do, but I get more pussy that you do.’)” (pg. 97)

29. “Jared sought to have his father, Charlie Kushner, pardoned; that effort went nowhere (Trump wasn’t a fan of Charlie Kushner’s).” (from Chapter Eight – Michael Flynn, pg. 99)

30. “At [Fox founder Roger] Ailes’s funeral in Palm Beach in May 2017, [Fox broadcaster Sean] Hannity, who had flown a group of Ailes’s colleagues and friends down on his plane, found his plan to get back home for one of his children’s sports matches delayed by the collective length of the many encomiums at the funeral.  Stepping out to speak on the phone with his disappointed child, he said, ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry.  But, hey, wait a minute.  Do you like your life?  Well, we owe that all to Mr. Ailes.  So I’m staying until his funeral is done.”

(from Chapter Eleven – Hannity, pg. 144)

31. “Trump, weary of immigration, was suddenly excited, on June 27, to be handed the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy from the Supreme Court, thus opening a seat for a new conservative judge.  Immigration became, overnight, a forgotten issue, and Hannity an annoyance.  ‘Wetbacks, wetbacks, wetbacks.  There’s more to the world,’ said the president in a complaint to an evening caller.  ‘Somebody should tell Sean.'” (pg. 155)

32. “…Trump continued to blame Bannon for getting him to support ‘the child molester’–Roy Moore in Alabama, the failed Senate candidate whom Bannon had backed.  (More precisely, in Trump’s locution, Bannon had persuaded him to support ‘the loser child molester.’)” (from Chapter Twelve – Trump Abroad, pg. 161)

33. “Melania–rarely approached and certainly never hugged by anyone on Trump’s staff or in his entourage–visibly recoiled from Hannity’s too-close embrace.” (from Chapter Thirteen – Trump and Putin, pgs. 177-178)

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Wednesday, September 25, 2019
2:19 a.m.

Published in: on September 25, 2019 at 2:20 am  Leave a Comment  

Eye-Opening Quotes From Michael Wolff’s Siege: Trump White House (Part One)

I know.  Michael Wolff is an unreliable narrator.  He’s not terribly transparent about his seriously flawed fact-gathering processes.  He relies on a lot of anonymous sources, many, if not all, of them motivated by vengeance which can sometimes put their credibility into question.  He gets basic details wrong that should’ve been caught before publication and he becomes very defensive when this is repeatedly pointed out to him.  Put bluntly, he’s more of a gossipy novelist than an insightful journalist.

That necessary caveat aside, surely some truths have still emerged from his two books about Donald Trump’s Presidency.  Last year, I focused on the first one, Fire And Fury.  And now, it’s on to his latest, Siege.

Once again, Wolff is way more interested in the ongoing soap opera in the West Wing than consistently deconstructing the extreme policies of an increasingly right-wing Republican Party.  Nevertheless, as before, there are citations that stand out, ones that may raise an eyebrow, drop a jaw or inspire a laugh.  Behold:

1. “Hicks –‘Hope-y,’ to Trump–was both the president’s gatekeeper and his comfort blanket.  She was also a frequent subject of his prurient interest:  Trump preferred business, even in the White House, to be personal.  ‘Who’s fucking Hope?’ he would demand to know.  The topic also interested his son Don Jr., who often professed his intention to ‘fuck Hope.'” (Chapter One – Bullseye, pg. 7)

2. “[Rob] Porter had, before the age of forty, two bitter ex-wives, at least one of whom he had beaten, and both of whom he had cheated on at talk-of-the-town levels.  During a stint as a Senate staffer, the married Porter had an affair with an intern, costing him his job.  His girlfriend Samantha Dravis had moved in with Porter in the summer of 2017, while, quite unbeknownst to her, he was seeing Hicks.  ‘I cheated on you because you’re not attractive enough,’ he later told Dravis.

In a potentially criminal break of protocol, Porter had gained access to his raw FBI clearance reports and seen the statements of his ex-wives…Concerned about the damaging impact his former wives could have on his security review, he recruited Dravis to help him smooth his relationship with both women.

[snip]

After finding Hicks’s number listed under a man’s name in Porter’s contacts, Dravis confronted Porter who promptly threw her out.  Moving back in with her parents, she began her own revenge campaign, openly talking about Porter’s security clearance issues, including to people inside the White House counsel’s office, saying he had protection at the highest levels in the White House…Dravis helped leak the details of the Hicks-Porter romance to the Daily Mail, which published a story about it on February 1.

But Dravis, joined by Porter’s former wives, decided that, outrageously, he had come out looking good…he was part of a glam power couple!  Porter called Dravis to taunt her:  ‘You thought you could get me!’  Dravis and his former wives all then publicly revealed their abuse at his hand.

[snip]

…his troubling gross-guy history…annoyed Trump–‘He stinks of bad press’…On February 7, after both of his former wives gave interviews to CNN, Porter resigned.”  (pgs. 8-9)

3. “In the high irony department, Jared Kushner, when he was in law school, and before he met Ivanka, identified, in a paper he wrote, possible claims of fraud against the Trump Organization in a particular real estate deal he was studying–a subject now of quite some amusement among his acquaintances at the time.” (pg. 13)

4. “…if [Jeffrey} Epstein knew some of Trump’s secrets, Trump knew some of Epstein’s.  Trump often saw the financier at Epstein’s current Palm Beach house, and Trump knew that Epstein was visited almost every day, and had been for many years, by girls he’d hired to give him massages that often had happy endings–girls recruited from local restaurants, strip clubs, and, also Trump’s own Mar-a-Lago.” (pg. 14)

5. “That Friday morning, he came down from the residence into the Oval Office in a full-on rage so violent that, for a moment, his hair came undone.  To the shock of the people with him, there stood an almost entirely bald Donald Trump.” (from Chapter Two – The Do-Over, pg. 28)

6. “…what he could not get enough of was Stormy Daniels’s new lawyer, Michael Avenatti.  The man was a killer.  As important, he was terrific on television.  Avenatti looked the part; he looked like he could play a lawyer on television.  This was the kind of lawyer he wanted.

‘He’s a star,’ Trump said.  That’s what he needed if he was going to face this kind of pressure and these kinds of attacks.  ‘Get me a star.'” (from Chapter Three – Lawyers, pg. 46)

7. “…Dershowitz was among the most brilliant and successful television lawyers in the country–and Trump, most of all, wanted someone who could play a lawyer on television.  Acting, in his view, was the greater and more important legal skill.

[snip]

…Dershowitz was invited to dinner at the White House to discuss representing the president.  He was just the kind of lawyer the president thought he needed: an aggressive advocate who could argue his case on television.

Over dinner, Dershowitz asked for a retainer of a million dollars.

Trump, ever believing that part of the legal game was not paying your lawyers, told Dershowitz he would get back to him.  But the conversation was over.  Never in a million years would he pay a lawyer a million bucks up front!” (pg. 47)

8. “Trump had never warmed to his vice president–indeed, Mike Pence had annoyed him from the first weeks of his administration…Trump demanded subservience, but when he got it he was suspicious of the person providing it.  The more Pence bowed, the more Trump tried to figure out his angle.

‘Why does he look at me like that?’ Trump asked about the way Pence seemed to stare at him near beatifically.  ‘He’s a religious nut,’ Trump concluded. ‘…they say he was the stupidest man in Congress.’

[snip]

Early in the administration, an article in Rolling Stone had quoted Pence referring to his wife as ‘Mother.’  The moniker stuck.  Since then, Mrs. [Karen] Pence has been known throughout the West Wing as Mother, and not with affection.  She was seen as the power behind the vice presidential throne–the canny, indefatigable, iron-willed strategist who propped up her hapless husband.

‘She really gives me the creeps,’ said Trump, who avoided Mrs. Pence.”

(from Chapter Four – Home Alone, pgs. 52-53)

9. “[Ronny] Jackson was a popular get-along figure, not least because he was casual about prescribing medication.  He kept the president stocked with Provigil, an upper, which Trump’s New York doctor has long prescribed for him.  For others, Jackson was regarded as a particularly easy Ambien touch.  He got along especially well with the men–an ‘old-fashioned sort of drinker,’ in one description.  He got along much less well with the women, accruing several complaints.” (pg.54)

10. “In the first week of [The Apprentice’s first season] production, [sound engineer Erik] Whitestone was assigned the job of putting the microphone up Trump’s shirt.  Given the physical proximity this task required–you had to reach under the jacket and shirt–everyone else on the production team had resisted it.  Trump, with his size, height, and glowering demeanor, was not only off-putting; for no clear reason, he would unzip his pants and pull them down part-way, exposing tighty-whities…

Not long after the show’s production got under way, Whitestone, now on permanent Trump-mic duty, took a day off and someone else, an African American sound technician, was given the assignment.  Trump flipped out.

A frantic Burnett found Whitestone at home.  Trump had barricaded himself in the bathroom.  ‘Donald won’t go on until you get here,’ said [Apprentice creator Mark] Burnett.  ‘So get here immediately!’

An hour later, Whitestone came rushing in to find Trump screaming from behind the bathroom door.  ‘Erik, what the fuck, they tried to fuck me up…They put dirty fingerprints on my collars, they tried to fuck up my tie.’

…every single morning of the shooting season, for the next fourteen years, Whitestone would show up at Trump’s apartment…” (from Chapter Six – Michael Cohen, pg. 80)

11. “‘He kept saying how much he wished he’d never given Don Jr. his name and wished he could take it back,’ recalled Whitestone.” (pg. 81)

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Wednesday, September 25, 2019
2:10 a.m.

Published in: on September 25, 2019 at 2:11 am  Leave a Comment  

Curious Quotes From Omarosa’s Donald Trump Memoir, Unhinged, Plus A Revealing Omarosa Story From Cliff Sims’ Night Of Vipers (Part Two)

9. “Don Jr. likened Syrian refugees to a bowl of Skittles, reigniting the outcry that the entire family was racist, hated Muslims, and equated immigrants and asylum seekers with terrorists.  Trump just shook his head and said, ‘Look at what he did now.  He screwed up again.  What a fuckup.'”

(from Chapter Eight – Trump Vs. Clinton, pg. 138)

10. “…Donald wasn’t always such a fan of [son-in-law] Jared [Kushner].  When he and Ivanka first started dating, I asked Donald what he thought of Jared.  ‘He seems a little sweet to me,’ he said, using his phrasing for ‘gay’…”

(from Chapter Ten – The Transition, pg. 178)

11. “Congressman John Lewis, the civil rights icon who was one of the original Freedom Riders in the 1960s, went on Meet The Press on January 14 [2017] and said the Trump presidency was illegitimate and that he intended to boycott the inauguration.  Trump wasted no time in responding [derisively] on Twitter…

[snip]

I was livid and called him to ask him, ‘Why are you doing this?…You have to stop this!’

‘He took the first shot,’ said Donald.  ‘If he hits me, I hit back.’

[snip]

Almost surprised, and caught off guard by how upset I was about his attacks on Lewis, Donald simply said, ‘Well, he started it, Omarosa!'”

(pg. 187)

12. “Donald mentioned to me that he would have to make this choice, and wasn’t inspired by his options.  It’s not mandatory that new presidents swear in on a Bible, but most have done so.

He asked me, ‘Omarosa, what do you think about me getting sworn in on The Art Of The Deal?’

I said, ‘Instead of the Bible?’

‘Yeah.  The Art Of The Deal is a bestseller!  It’s the greatest business book of all time.  It’s how I’m going to make great deals for the country.  Just think how many copies I’d sell–maybe a commemorative inauguration copy?!'”

(pg. 195)

13. “He was hardwired to constantly promote Trump brands, properties…, and Trump products…Why wouldn’t he think of the inauguration itself as a branding opportunity?

Donald Trump had always been obsessed with ratings.  He went on and on about how much the networks would make with that many eyeballs glued to their TVs.  Historical ratings! He pondered how he could capitalize on that himself and whether it was feasible to do a pay-per-view event that would get him a piece of the action.”

(pgs. 196-197)

14. “He was obsessed with the election, and he was furious when it came out that he’d lost the popular vote by millions.  For his first few months in the White House, Trump kept big charts in his private dining room, in his den, in his study, that showed the electoral map colour coded in red and blue.  Most of the country was coded red, while the most populous urban centers were coded blue.  When anyone walked in, he’d point to the chart and talked about the election results.  If you walked in in the morning, he’d tell the story of his victory, with the visual aid of the chart.  If you walked in in the afternoon, you’d hear the same story again, verbatim.”

(from Chapter Eleven – Tackled By My Teammates, pg. 210)

15. “…I convinced [then-Chief Of Staff] Reince [Priebus] to allow me to work with the Department of State to take a delegation to Haiti for the inauguration of Jovenel Moise.  When I told DJT that I would be gone for a couple of days, he asked me, ‘Why did you choose that shitty country as your first foreign trip?  You should have waited until the confirmations were done and gone to Scotland and played golf at [his course in] Turnberry.’

I admonished him for putting down Haiti and explained all that the country had been through recently.  I also reminded him of all the promises he had made to the Haitian community during the campaign and that we had to deliver on our commitment to help build up Haiti.  He didn’t remember, drew a blank.”

(pgs. 219-220)

16. “I’ll go on the record and say that Donald Trump has never read from beginning to end any of the major pieces of legislation, policies, or even some of these executive orders that he has signed.  Senior advisors spoon-feed him five to ten bullet points about the legislation and forgo any discussion of the complexities.  To this day, his team pushes through Trump’s EOs and bills, and Donald has only a surface-level understanding of the content he’s signing into law.”

(pg. 226)

17. “…Saturday Night Live skewered Ivanka Trump with expert precision in an advertising parody with Scarlett Johansson as Ivanka selling a fragrance called Complicit.  At the senior staff meeting, Ivanka couldn’t stop bemoaning it, how offensive it was, how ridiculous it was.  We’d all been subject to SNL attacks…We’d all been hit, many of us in that same week’s show.  But Ivanka would not stop talking about being ribbed.  Like her father, Ivanka was thin-skinned and could not seem to take a joke.

Donald said to Ivanka, ‘Honey, you’re getting hit so hard!  Why are you taking this?  Just go back, run the company.  I can’t protect you here.  I don’t like how hard they’re hitting you.’  He wanted Jared and Ivanka out of the White House.  It hurt him when people attacked her.  They were doing it to get to him, and it was working.”

(pg. 232)

18. “Throughout my time in the White House, as a part of a little known program called the executive medical program, the cabinet and all APs [Assistants to the President], could get prescriptions for any ailment.  They would give out anything, right from the bottle, no prescription needed.  Say your back was hurting.  You’d go in and complain, and walk out with a month’s supply of powerful pain medication.  The logic behind the free flow of meds was that the cabinet and APs had to keep ticking.  We couldn’t have insomnia or fatigue or be bothered by back pain.  All we had to do was ask, and we would receive whatever pill we wanted.”

(from Chapter Twelve – “I Think The President Is Losing It!”, pg. 242)

19. “…Trump went to a NATO summit in Brussels, and shoved Dusko Markovic, the prime minister of Montenegro, out of the way so he would be standing in the center of the group photo.  Of course, he was called out for the move.  I asked him, ‘You came off a little aggressive.  Why did you do that?’

He said, ‘Oh, he’s just a whiny punk bitch.'”

(pg. 251)

20. “…once, after a meeting in the Oval with Michael Cohen, I saw him put a note in his mouth.  Since Trump was ever the germaphobe, I was shocked he appeared to be chewing and swallowing the paper.  It must have been something very, very sensitive.”

(pg. 254)

21. “On May 10 [2017], [Education Secretary Betsy] DeVos and I went to the graduation ceremony at Bethune-Cookman University, a historically black college in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Betsy got up onstage to give her speech and was immediately, loudly booed by the entire audience.  Graduating students and their families stood up and turned their backs on her…When the booing started, she should have wrapped it up, but she went on and on for twenty minutes, talking over the booing.

[snip]

I asked her later on how she felt about what happened.  She said, ‘I did great!’

[snip]

She said, ‘They don’t get it.  They don’t have the capacity to understand what we’re trying to accomplish.’  Meaning, all those black students were too stupid to understand her agenda.

(pg. 257)

22. “Billionaire Betsy DeVos (whom Trump calls Ditzy DeVos behind her back)…”

(from Chapter Ten – The Transition, pg. 182)

23. “…I was in the Oval with Donald and he picked up an article about George Conway’s counterpunch and ranted, ‘Would you look at this George Conway article?  Fucking FLIP!  Disloyal!  Fucking goo-goo!’

I was told later that ‘Goo-goo’ and ‘FLIP,’ an acronym for ‘fucking little island people,’ are racial slurs for Filipinos.  George is half Filipino.”

(pg. 260)

24. “THE RUSSIA INQUIRY continued to percolate all summer.  On July 11, Don Jr. released the email chain about his meeting in Trump Tower with the Russian lawyer.  When I saw Donald that day, I said, ‘I’m sorry to hear about Don.’

He said, ‘He is such a fuckup.  He screwed up again, but this time, he’s screwing us all, big-time!'”

(pg. 263)

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Thursday, September 5, 2019
12:21 a.m.

Published in: on September 5, 2019 at 12:21 am  Leave a Comment  

Curious Quotes From Omarosa’s Donald Trump Memoir, Unhinged, Plus A Revealing Omarosa Story From Cliff Sims’ Night Of Vipers (Part One)

Some Donald Trump books are better timed than others.  Michael Wolff’s Fire And Fury appeared within the first week of 2018.  Bob Woodward’s Fear: Trump In The White House came out last autumn.  Even Trump’s former special assistant, Cliff Sims, had the good fortune of having his lackluster memoir issued at the start of this year.  This meant little competition and maximum attention for prolonged periods of precious media time.

Although Omarosa’s book, Unhinged, did get some initial publicity in its own right, mainly because she floated the already circulating idea of Trump being caught saying racist things on tape during The Apprentice tapings, attention eventually waned considerably as other Trump media stories drowned out her own.

Having now read the former Trump official’s often self-serving memoir, which alternates between incessant bragging and constant victimization, there are many curious assertions and revelations about her experience working alongside her longtime mentor.  Much of what she writes about the man’s many shortcomings are already common knowledge if sometimes dangerously speculative, but some details, now forgotten as the public’s attention has turned elsewhere, are worth revisiting a year later.  Not only that, there are other interesting observations you’ll find in this three-part series.

There is one embarrassing anecdote Omarosa doesn’t share with her readers, one that Cliff Sims covers in Night Of Vipers.  Look for that story at the start of part three:

1. “In January 2007, I went to a party for the first season of The Celebrity Apprentice at the Playboy Mansion along with some of the upcoming season’s contestants, network suits, production people, members of the Trump family, and a lot of naked women.

[snip]

“I remember, at one point, pausing to take in the Trump family dynamic.  Over there, Donald was flirting with Bunnies.  Hovering nearby, Don Jr. [attending with his then-pregnant wife], kept a wary eye on his father, both in awe and terrified of him.  Across the room, Melania stared at her husband, mysteriously, intensely.  And Ivanka laughed and charmed anyone nearby.  Donald never looked over at his son or his wife.  But he glanced often at Ivanka.”

(from Unhinged, Chapter Three: The Ultimate Merger, pgs. 40 & 42)

2. “THE CELEBRITY APPRENTICE started filming in late 2007.

[snip]

Candidate Gene Simmons of KISS, a close friend of Donald’s, was the most disgusting misogynist I had ever met.  On day one, he walked right up to another candidate, Carol Alt, a model and former Playboy cover girl, talked revoltingly about his famously elongated tongue, and then stuck it in her mouth.  She gagged in front of me.  When he started walking toward me with his tongue out, I ran.  At one point, Simmons was taken off the men’s team and put with the women’s team, despite the fact that just about every one of the women on the show had complained to producers about his offensive behaviour.  As far as I could tell, they didn’t care.  The producers loved it.  Trump loved it, too.

[snip]

Donald asked Gene, ‘What do you think of Ivanka?  How’s she doing?’…While leering openly at her breasts, he said, ‘She’s a very, very sexy, desirable young woman who I’m looking forward to getting to know much better if you know what I mean, with all due respect.’  Her father egged him on.  Ivanka groaned dismissively and tried to get them to change subjects.”

(pgs. 42 & 43)

3. “I remember during one boardroom outtake that season, it came out that Donald Trump and Carol Alt had once dated in the nineties.  Donald said something like, ‘Yeah, those were the good old days.’  He turned to [the then-married] Don Jr. and said, ‘You’ve got to get ass like that.  You got to get some ass like that.’  Carol just sat there, Ivanka-like, and took it.”

(pg. 45)

4. “The Ultimate Merger was a dating show, an African American version of The Bachelorette with an Apprentice twist.  Men would compete for my affection and I’d eliminate one each week.

[snip]

We were staying and shooting the show at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas.  During the course of production, we filmed a scene by the hotel’s swimming pool, and some furniture was damaged.  It was not that big a deal, or so I thought.  The next thing I know, I got a call from Trump in New York.

He said, ‘Omarosa, what the fuck is going on down there?’  His tone was aggressive.

I said, ‘We’re shooting the show.’

‘I heard from the manager that you’re out of control!  You can’t just let those people do whatever the fuck they want!  What’s the matter with them?  They have no respect for my property.  It’s my fucking hotel!  Show some fucking respect!’

I’d heard Trump use profanity many times, but never had he spoken like that to me.  He was furious.  I said, ‘I’m sorry, Mr. Trump.  It won’t happen again.’

‘It better not, Omarosa.  Or I’m going to come down there and straighten this shit out myself.  You do not want that to happen, believe me.’

He hung up, and I remember the phone shaking in my hand.”

(pgs. 48 & 49)

5. “…in October 2011, my brother Jack was murdered.

[snip]

The funeral was agony.  I spoke at the service and honoured his life.

We didn’t know that the National Enquirer had sent a reporter, a black woman who pretended to be a mourner, to cover it.  She took the words from my eulogy, turned them into an article with quotes, and claimed to have interviewed me while we stood over my brother’s casket.  The paper called it ‘an exclusive interview.’

I hired the best lawyers and, within a month, put the tabloid on notice that I was preparing to sue…

[snip]

Then Donald Trump called me…he said, ‘Omarosa, you’ve got to drop this lawsuit against the Enquirer.  David Pecker is my close friend.  I’ve spoken with him, and he’s willing to work with you.  What do you want?’

[snip]

As a personal favor to Pecker, Donald agreed to call me and talk me out of the lawsuit…

[snip]

Donald went back to Pecker and negotiated a deal for me.  In exchange for a settlement…they would give me the high-profile job and title of West Coast Editor.

[snip]

The job included travel, an office, a staff of photographers and reporters.  But what sealed the deal for me was that Donald personally asked me to accept it…If he asked me, as a favor, to drop my lawsuit against another of his friends, I had to do it.

[snip]

I worked [at the Enquirer] for two years…”

(from Chapter Four – Shattered, pgs. 54-56)

6. “…I reached out to longtime [Hillary] Clinton adviser and political consultant Minyon Moore to see what the overall strategy was for her [2016] presidential campaign.  She assured me the best vehicle to help HRC was the Ready for Hillary PAC.  So I doubled down on my efforts to raise money and awareness for Hillary.

[snip]

Minyon assured us that the powers that be were very pleased with our committee’s contributions.  ‘You will have a role,’ she said.

[snip]

When Hillary announced her candidacy on April 12, 2015, the Ready For Hillary PAC closed down, and all the resources shifted to the official presidential Ready PAC.  We were all excited to make that transition and join what would surely be a historic campaign.  I remember feeling a sense of belonging to something meaningful.

But we didn’t hear from them.

We waited.  And waited some more.

[snip]

We felt duped and insulted.

[snip]

I’d given Ready for Hillary two years of my life…After this unceremonious rejection, my support for her was now tepid.”

(from Chapter Five – The Woman Problem, pgs. 71-72)

7. “…Trump was not always respectful to Michael [Cohen], often mocking him and belittling him.  Trump had sussed out that Michael would work ten times harder to earn praise if it were rarely given.”

(pg. 79)

8. “I was disenchanted with the Democrats after being duped by the Clinton people, but it went back further than that, all the way to the Bill Clinton White House and my time with the DNC.  I could see clearly that Trump was in a unique position to get Americans who’d never engaged in politics before to vote, not only rural whites, but young African Americans and Latinos, anyone who would respond to his star power.  I made it my goal to reach those people–Trump Democrats–with outreach to women, Independents, and minority voters.

Once I was committed, I was all in…

[snip]

…I didn’t have to push myself too hard to do it.  Trump, my mentor and friend, had asked me to support him.  His staff had given me the full-court press.  I’d been ready for Hillary, but when push came to shove, she hadn’t been ready for me.  Team Trump was ready, willing, and eager for my help.

Not only that, Donald Trump gave me everything I asked for.”

(pgs. 84-85)

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Thursday, September 5, 2019
12:14 a.m.

Published in: on September 5, 2019 at 12:14 am  Leave a Comment  

Two Stunning Upsets In Otherwise Dull Oscars

The academy must really hate Glenn Close.  What else can explain the continuation of her ongoing slump at the Academy Awards which held its 91st annual ceremony on Sunday.  In a moment that very few, if any, saw coming, it was Olivia Colman who was named Best Actress, not the seven-time nominee for The Wife.  Turns out she wasn’t a long shot at all.

Ever gracious and seemingly shellshocked herself, the charming and funny star of The Favourite tried to make Close feel better by declaring her her idol and wishing she had won this award under different circumstances (yeah, right).  “This is hilarious,” Colman declared at the start, while also noting how “stressful” it was to be on stage.  Humourously scoffing at the “wrap it up” cue on the prompter, Colman appeared to vindicate the academy’s choice with her entertaining speech alone which, upon its conclusion, resulted in a standing ovation.  It was the only award The Favourite managed to snag.

In the other shocker of the night, Green Book, not Roma or my prediction, A Star Is Born, was named Best Picture in spite of so much controversy, not least of which included the public complaints by the surviving family of Don Shirley who claimed the film took excessive liberties with his real-life story.  As expected, Mahershala Ali, who played Shirley the pianist, won his second Best Supporting Actor gong, only two years after his first for Moonlight.  Although I correctly picked him to win, my initial feeling that there would be an upset was clearly wrong.  Turned out I was thinking of the wrong category.  In another bit of a surprise, Green Book also won Best Original Screenplay, giving co-writer/director Peter Farrelly two gongs for the night.

Bohemian Rhapsody was the big winner overall with four Oscars.  It swept the Sound categories and took home Best Film Editing.  Rami Malek, who noted his Egyptian heritage, was named Best Actor for playing Queen frontman Freddie Mercury.  He also acknowledged Mercury’s sexuality and how he lived his life “unapologetically.”

Black Panther snagged three golden gongs but all in technical categories.  It won for its Costumes, its Production Design (in a bit of minor upset over The Favourite) and for its Original Score.  Roma also won three.  Alfonso Cuaron took to the stage every time to accept for Best Director, Best Cinematography and for Best Foreign Language Film.

The elegant Regina King thanked James Baldwin, her mom and God after accepting the award for Best Supporting Actress.  It was the only Oscar for If Beale Street Could Talk which was based on Baldwin’s novel of the same name.

Lady Gaga, whose very name was inspired by Queen, didn’t go home empty-handed.  Along with her three co-writers (which did not include Bradley Cooper as I erroneously noted in my predictions and have now corrected), she took to the stage to be handed the Best Original Song trinket for Shallow, which ended up being the only honour given to A Star Is Born.

The mercurial Spike Lee finally won a competitive Oscar for co-writing BlacKkKlansman.  Having stolen an outfit from Prince’s closet, he was his usual outspoken self.  Like Regina King, he thanked his grandmother but also acknowledged the two biggest historical American injustices:  slavery and First Nations genocide.

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse was named Best Animated Feature and Free Solo, not RBG, took home Best Documentary Feature.  Even Best Visual Effects was a bit of a surprise.  First Man won over the third Avengers movie.  The complete list of winners is at the bottom of this entry.

Beyond the awards themselves, the overall broadcast was far from thrilling.  Yes, Trevor Noah did a killer Mel Gibson joke, Paul Rudd did a brilliant, self-deprecating zinger during his presentation for Visual Effects and notice how the camera showed that Best Picture envelope being handed to Julia Roberts as she walked on stage?  That was funny.  Suck it, Warren Beatty.

Other than that, the show was lame.  Nothing says contemporary than a failed American Idol contestant butchering two classics from the 1970s featuring half of the original geezers who made them famous back when they could actually play.  Melissa McCarthy’s stuffed animal costume was stupid.  There was nothing funny about those three SNL alums pretending to be the hosts for five minutes.  There’s a reason they weren’t hired for the actual job.  Spike Lee cursed but that goddamned delay silenced it.  And what was with that hideous set?  It looked like a giant fucking ear.

Kevin Hart, you did the right thing backing out.  At least the show was only three hours this year.

The complete list of winners:

BEST PICTURE – GREEN BOOK

BEST DIRECTOR – Alfonso Cuaron (ROMA)

BEST ACTOR – Rami Malek (BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY)

BEST ACTRESS – Olivia Colman (THE FAVOURITE)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – Regina King (IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – Mahershala Ali (GREEN BOOK)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY – BLACKKKLANSMAN

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY – GREEN BOOK

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE – SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE

BEST ANIMATED SHORT – BAO

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE – FREE SOLO

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT – PERIOD. END OF SENTENCE

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT – SKIN

BEST COSTUME DESIGN – BLACK PANTHER

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN – BLACK PANTHER

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – BLACK PANTHER

BEST ORIGINAL SONG – Shallow (A STAR IS BORN)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS – FIRST MAN

BEST MAKE-UP AND HAIRSTYLING – VICE

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – ROMA

BEST SOUND EDITING – BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

BEST SOUND MIXING – BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM – ROMA

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Monday, February 25, 2019
12:41 a.m.

Published in: on February 25, 2019 at 12:41 am  Leave a Comment  

Standout Moments From 2018 – Part Two (The Bad)

1. The murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.  For years, he was a longtime confidant and unapologetic spokesman for the House of Saud.  Then, in 2016, he publicly criticized then-Presidential candidate Donald Trump, a fateful decision that so angered Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman that Khashoggi was effectively censored.  He never appeared in the Saudi Arabian media ever again.  Relocating to America, he began to turn on MBS, writing critical column after critical column.  While visiting the Saudi Arabian embassy in Istanbul, Turkey to obtain a marriage license, he was tortured and cut into pieces by goons hired by MBS to take him out.  His remains have never been found.  Although there was some political fallout and boycotting by numerous major companies and celebrities, MBS was never punished for ordering the hit.

2. Anthony Bourdain, the host of CNN’s Parts Unknown, killed himself.

3. Donald Trump’s horrendously cruel child separation policy for refugee families.  Chaotically implemented, it has already traumatized innocent people desperate to escape the dangers of their own countries, dangers directly caused by successive American governments, not to mention the preventable deaths of 2 young children.  White supremacy and capitalism go hand in hand.

4. The California wildfires.  Climate change is the apocalypse.

5. Steel City Video closed after 30 successful years in business.  The Hamilton, Ontario stable supplied me with so many movies over the decades I lost count.  I wonder who bought all their porn.

6. Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice despite his dishonest, belligerent testimony and numerous accusations of sexual harassment and assault by women, including Christine Blasey Ford, the only victim allowed to appear during a hearing.  We learned nothing from Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill.

7. Gina Haspel became the new CIA Director.  Torture cover-ups get you promotions in the Trump Administration.

8. Hulk Hogan was welcomed back to the WWE three years after being exposed as an anti-Black racist.  He hasn’t changed.

9. The Toronto van attack.

10. Prince Harry’s wedding.  Who gives a shit?

11. Kraftwerk were once again not inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.  The band’s massive widespread influence led to the phenomenal rise of EDM and Hip Hop, the top two genres in modern popular music.  So, why do they continue to be disrespected?

12. Life Of The Party.  The worst film of the year.  Melissa McCarthy is the new Chris Farley, wasting her career on dumb, insulting slapstick.

13. Raise Vibration by Lenny Kravitz.  We waited four years for this boring garbage?  The love revolution is putting us to sleep.

14. Roman Reigns announced he was once again diagnosed with leukemia, forcing him to forfeit the Universal Championship.  May he once again recover and live to Superman punch another day.

15. Twitter locked my account for a day because I was retweeting too much about the US midterm elections.  To their credit, they did apologize twice and let me back in.

16. Jian Ghomeshi’s self-serving essay.  He’s not a victim.  He’s a rapist.  He deserves his obscurity.

17. The Kurt Angle/Jason Jordan father/son angle.  Despite this nonsense leading to Jordan winning his first championship (the Raw tag titles with Seth Rollins), it did not get him over with the fans.  Then he got hurt.  Who’s pining for his return?

18. Kanye West’s ignorant statement on TMZ Live where he claimed that “slavery was a choice”.  He also briefly vouched for President Trump (which led to an embarrassing, meandering White House visit) and even wore his stupid Make America Great Again hat.  When he stops making hits, he’ll finally go away.

19. Blade Runner 2049 was not nominated for Best Picture.  One of the best sequels ever made.  The motion picture academy does not understand the importance of science fiction.

20. The Dynamite Kid died.  Shawn Michaels, CM Punk, Bret Hart, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and a whole bunch of luchadores owe the British legend a huge debt of gratitude for making the small man larger than life in the squared circle.  If only his personal life was as honourable.

21. Doug Ford’s Conservatives won the Ontario election.  This doesn’t end well.

22. Mark Lamont Hill was fired from CNN for defending Palestinians and opposing Apartheid Israel’s illegal ongoing occupation during a speech at the UN.  Former AIPAC spokesman Wolf Blitzer wrote a whole book demonizing Arabs and Rick Santorum doesn’t believe Palestinians actually exist but their jobs are safe.  Racists are always protected by capitalism and white supremacy.

23. The uselessness of Primus Canada customer service.  Putting you on hold for an hour without talking to you.  Not taking responsibility for their slow-ass dial-up service which wasn’t always this slow and unstable connection that cuts in and out.  Pretending to solve the problem when nothing has changed.  A total waste of time.

24. George A. Romero died.  Night Of The Living Dead is still timely and relevant.

25. The Edmonton Oilers failed to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  Again.

26. The cancellation of Ontario’s updated sex-ed curriculum and guaranteed basic income experiment by Doug Ford’s Conservative government, the latter of which he promised not to do.  He doesn’t care about the poor, LGBT folks, FN or people of colour.

27. Game Night.  Not scary enough to be a thriller.  Not funny enough to be a comedy.

28. Facebook ended its partnership with Twitter to allow users to send tweets to their profile page.  No wonder my hits are way down.

29. Serena Williams’ embarrassing temper tantrum during the US Open Final.  It took away from a historic victory for new champion Naomi Asaka, the first Asian-American woman to ever win the tournament.

30. Aretha Franklin died.

31. The draconian anti-sex trafficking bills FOSTA and SESTA became law.  Sex workers can no longer depend on the Internet to safely screen clients and police are having a much harder time catching actual sex traffickers.  The incoming House Democrats should repeal them both and decriminalize sex work.

32. All the mass shootings in America.  What’s it going to take to end toxic masculinity?

33. The Humboldt Broncos bus crash.  Preventable and horrifying.

34. Fire And Fury: Inside The Trump White House & Fear: Trump In The White House.  Too much gossip about a complicated idiot, not enough dissection of destructive policies and lifetime judicial appointments which are far more important.

35. Gitmo is still open.

36. The Canadian postal strike.  May it be resolved early in the new year.

37. Whistleblower Reality Winner was pressured into taking a plea deal rather than take her chances in court which could’ve led to a decades-long sentence.  She’ll serve five years for leaking to The Intercept.  Abolish the Espionage Act.

38. The Catholic Church child abuse cover-ups.  Thousands of victims in multiple parishes, not a lot of accountability or convictions.  Why does Pope Francis continue to delay structural reforms?

39. Jair Bolsonaro, the fascist homophobe and misogynist, once an outlier on the extreme right, was elected President of Brazil.  Oh, and he doesn’t believe in climate change so good-bye Amazon rainforest.

40. Nikolai Volkoff died.  No more stirring renditions of the Soviet National Anthem from the Croatian-born grappler and former world tag team champion.

41. The restoration of the Iran sanctions by President Trump.  They’ve always honoured the nuclear deal.  But the neocons in his administration are itching for war.  Bad news for world peace.

42. The WWE’s despicable association with the House of Saud.  First, there was the Greatest Royal Rumble which took place despite the atrocities in Yemen.  Then came Crown Jewel which went on as scheduled even after Jamal Khashoggi’s murder.  The show was hosted by the bigoted Hulk Hogan and featured Shawn Michaels in his first match in eight years.  So much for honouring a retirement storyline.  And so much for caring about human rights.

43. Ryan Seacrest didn’t get fired from his many jobs despite harassing and assaulting his former stylist who was fired for reporting him.  George Takei claimed exoneration after a questionable article written by an author who sang his praises in a book.  Michael Weatherly hasn’t lost his job playing Bull despite being caught on film harassing fired co-star Eliza Dushku and was actually defended by two women who worked with him on NCIS.  There are many other examples too numerous and depressing to mention.  The bottom line is this.  #MeToo hasn’t changed anything.

44. All the other bad films I saw released this year:  Mom And Dad, Unfriended: Dark Web, Day Of The Dead: Bloodline, Upgrade, The Endless, The First Purge, Death Wish, Winchester, Insidious: The Last Key, The Strangers: Prey At Night, Blumhouse’s Truth Or Dare, Fifty Shades Freed and Hotel Transylvania 3.

45. All the other awful movies I saw this year: Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul; Goon: Last Of The Enforcers; Failure To Launch; CHIPS; The Boss Baby; Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie; Uncle Buck; Hoodwinked; Blades Of Glory; Rough Night; Hide And Seek; Frankenweenie; The Ant Bully; A Return To Salem’s Lot; The Croods; Snatched; The House; Are We Done Yet; Missing In Action; Hitch; The Emoji Movie; A Million Ways To Die In The West; The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature; Shutter; Red; Red 2.

My Little Pony: The Movie (1986 & 2017); Society; Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie; Kick-Ass; Kick-Ass 2; Despicable Me; Despicable Me 2; Despicable Me 3; Minions; Cocktail; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014); Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows; The Bye Bye Man; The Smurfs; The Smurfs 2; Smurfs: The Lost Village; The Chipmunk Adventure; Alvin & The Chipmunks; Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel; Alvin & The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked; Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Road Chip.

Amityville: The Awakening; Ducktales The Movie: Treasure Of The Lost Map; Sausage Party; The Peanuts Movie; A Boy Named Charlie Brown; Snoopy Come Home; Run For Your Life, Charlie Brown; Jigsaw; Kung Fu Panda; Kung Fu Panda 2; Kung Fu Panda 3; Mr. Peabody & Sherman; G.I. Joe: Retaliation; Middle School: The Worst Years Of My Life; The Brothers Grimsby; Keanu; The Interview; Delivery Man; 17 Again; When The Bough Breaks; Father Figures; A Thousand Words; Joe Versus The Volcano; Creepshow; Creepshow 2.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (Super-Sized Version); Dead-End Drive-In; Strictly Business; Trailer Park Boys; Trailer Park Boys: Countdown To Liquor Day; Trailer Park Boys: Don’t Legalize It; Pete’s Dragon (1977); The Man; Jeepers Creepers 3; #Horror; But I’m A Cheerleader; Razorback; Bad Moon; Crawlspace; Seven Chances; The Garbage Pail Kids Movie; Warlock: The Armageddon; Repossessed; The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie; The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water; White Of The Eye; Summer School.

Hide And Go Shriek; Parents; Abbott And Costello Meet The Mummy; The Other Side Of The Door; A Woman’s Torment; Frankenhooker; 47 Meters Down; Children Of The Corn; Children Of The Corn II: The Final Sacrifice; The Car; Bad Words; Pitch Perfect; Pitch Perfect 2; Pitch Perfect 3; The Final Girls; Satanic; Office Christmas Party, The Star; Four Christmases; National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation; Red Heat; Zombie Strippers!, XXX: Return Of Xander Cage and Martin.

46. Margot Kidder committed suicide.  The definitive Lois Lane, a Bernie Sanders supporter and an all-round delightful character.  Mental illness is a cancer on our society, especially our creative community.

47. The whitewashing of John McCain and George H.W. Bush’s political record because they died.  War criminals don’t deserve penance or reputational protection from their millionaire friends in the media.  They deserve endless scorn and ridicule for all the innocent people they tortured and murdered.

48. The Twitter purge.  Leftists and sex workers need more protection from white supremacy and corporate censorship.

49. Premier Doug Ford used the Notwithstanding Clause of the Canadian Constitution to reduce Toronto City Council from 47 seats to 25.  Pure pettiness with surely more to come.

50. Dolores O’Riordan, Steven Bochco, Steven Hawking and John Mahoney all died.

51. Monday Night Raw & Smackdown Live.  Bad announcing, pitiful storylines, questionable political associations.  The highly hated Enzo Amore aside, they’re still protecting abusers and creeps that can draw.  I can spend these five hours every week doing something less offensive.

52. The ongoing persecution of Julian Assange and the restriction of his rights in the Ecuadorian Embassy.  Yes, he’s a maddening figure for many reasons but even he doesn’t deserve this torture.  Exposing government crimes is crucial for democracy to function.

53. The CIA torture report has still not been released.

54. Elizabeth Warren falsely claiming she’s part Indigenous.  Nope.  What you really are is cannon fodder for Donald Trump if you win the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2020.  Bernie can still win.

55. All the Facebook scandals.  Fuck Zuck.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Monday, December 31, 2018
8:04 p.m.

Standout Moments From 2018 – Part One (The Good)

1. Daniel Bryan was reinstated as an active professional wrestler and went on to win back the WWE Championship, a title he never lost four years ago.

2. The Clinton Affair, a stellar three-part A&E docuseries on former President Bill Clinton’s awful history of rape, abuse, harassment and imbalanced sexual relationships.  Monica Lewinsky candidly owns up to all the mistakes she made and comes off far better than the man who foolishly risked his legacy for side pussy.

3. A Quiet Place.  Clever and surprisingly poignant, an inventive take on the alien invasion genre.  The best use of silence since Signs.  For once, we get unsentimental characters with disabilities, flawed and temperamental, not inspirational saints.  The upcoming sequel has a lot to live up to.

4. The Democrats won back control of The House of Representatives.

5. Corporations can no longer through arbitration demand countries change laws interfering with their capitalistic ambitions, one of the few good things about the new USMCA trade agreement.

6. Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen were convicted.  Are Jared Kushner and Donald Trump Jr. next?

7. The easing of tensions between North & South Korea.  May it finally lead to the official end of the overlong Korean War.

8. Recreational marijuana is now legal in Canada.  Now stop arresting people for selling it without a license, legalize their shops, fix your supply issues, lower your prices and pardon/release everyone charged and convicted in the pointless Drug War.

9. CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling was quietly released from prison.  He should never have been convicted in the first place.

10. Franz Ferdinand’s Always Ascending.  Still funky, still horny.

11. Croatia’s surprising run in the World Cup.  Despite being throttled by a determined France in the final match, the fact that they even made it this far, their best all-time showing, is inspiration for the next generation.

12. Jersey Shore: Family Vacation.  Skinny Vinnie.  Explanation face.  Angelina hasn’t gotten pounded in a long time.  French fry.  The Situation gets engaged.  Deena gets pregnant.  Sammi the love doll.  The missing wedding ring.  Twerking in Vegas.  Uncle Nino returns.  Ronnie’s psycho baby mama.  Ariana Sky. Vinnie’s sweet mother.  Ass cake.  Fighting, brawling, drinking, reconciling, roasting.  A show so action-packed and amusing, it had to be divided into two parts.  Funnier than most sitcoms.

13. The Great Return March.  Desperate Palestinian refugees in Gaza, determined to be recognized for their humanity and fed up with the illegal blockade, courageously protesting in the midst of fierce homicidal violence by Apartheid Israel.  They are heroes who deserve their freedom and dignity.

14. Albert Schultz was ousted by Soulpepper, the Canadian theatre troupe he co-founded after being accused of sexual harassment by multiple actresses who worked for the company.  He settled numerous lawsuits, as a result.

15. The remarkable rescue of a teenage soccer team stranded and trapped in a water-filled cave in Thailand.  Only one of the rescuers died in a tragic accident.  All the kids and their protective coach were safely retrieved and after a brief hospital stay, are now doing fine.

16. Bill Cosby was convicted of sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, the only entertainer in the #MeToo era to face any kind of genuine consequences for harming women.

17. Interpol’s Marauder.  Alternative rock isn’t dead yet.

18. CNN’s 1968.  A sprawling, four-part examination of one of the most influential years in American history.  A welcome expansion of the original Sixties episode that felt woefully incomplete.

19. The New York Times investigation into the Trump family’s long history of fraud in New York City.  It would’ve been nice to have done this, what, 20, 30 years ago when it would’ve mattered more.  There won’t be criminal charges because of the statute of limitations but by God, there should be plenty of lawsuits.  Overcharging seniors on fixed incomes is shameful.

20. Ronda Rousey’s electrifying debut at WrestleMania 34, in a mixed-tag match, no less.  Rousey and Kurt Angle defeated Triple H and Stephanie McMahon in a very entertaining 30-minute encounter that launched the former UFC Champion onto the short trek to a WWE World Championship.

21. All the other good & great movies I saw this year:  OJ: Made In America, Blade Runner 2049, Room 237, Akira (both English-language versions), Ghost In The Shell, Ghost In The Shell 2: Innocence, Pete’s Dragon (2016), Planet Of The Apes (1968), Night Of The Living Dead (1968), The Transporter, Suburbicon, The Ninth Gate, Before I Fall, Identity, Godzilla (2014), Festival Express, Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage, The Abyss: Special Edition and Jurassic World.

22. John Kelly, Jim Mattis, Scott Pruitt, Jeff Sessions, Gary Cohn, Rex Tillerson and Ryan Zinke all exited The Trump Administration, most with tarnished reputations.  None will be missed.

23. Bruce MacArthur was finally arrested.  What took so long?

24. Les Moonves was tossed from CBS after numerous reports of him raping, harassing and retaliating against numerous women in the industry.  He was denied millions in compensation.  He should’ve never been elevated to such a powerful position.  Will he be prosecuted?

25. Virtue, the second CD from Julian Casablancas and The Voidz.  An eclectic mix of funk, punk, rock and soul from the leader of The Strokes.  The best album I heard all year featuring some of the prettiest melodies this decade.

26. Leah Remini – Scientology & The Aftermath.  More disheartening, gutwrenching revelations from former cult members.  When is the end coming for the diabolical Kerry Fraser doppelganger David Miscavige?

27. A suspect in the Golden State Killer case was finally arrested, one of the oldest cold cases in America.  Hopefully, he’s the guy.  We’ll find out soon enough.

28. The Parkland high school student protests against gun violence.  Someone has to challenge the NRA’s stranglehold on Congress.

29. Canada’s Paralympic Wheelchair Curling Team.  Going a brilliant 9 and 2 during the preliminary match-ups, this loveable fivesome of middle-aged athletes endeared an entire country with their touching back stories and Bronze medal victory.  They lost the fewest ends and won more ends than any other nation including the Gold-winning Chinese squad.

30. Roxy Music was inducted into The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  About goddamn time.

31. Harvey Weinstein was arrested and charged with multiple counts of assault.  Even if he somehow survives, who would ever want to work with him again?

32. The J20 acquittals.  Protesting and journalism are not crimes.

33. Cesar Sayoc, the wannabe serial killer, was arrested after sending mail bombs to numerous high profile, public critics of President Trump.  Thankfully, no one was hurt or killed because they were intercepted in time.

34. The poorly attended Toronto show of the Bill & Hillary Clinton speaking tour.  Hundred dollar seats were slashed to single digits and that still didn’t attract more people.  Bernie would’ve won.

35. The Israel Lobby, the reportedly damning, undercover docuseries unaired by Al Jazeera, was leaked online and posted in full by The Electronic Intifada who did solid summary reporting on its revelations.  Why can’t we see this on Television?

36. The Canadian Olympic Team won 29 medals, the most ever for The Great White North.  If only we were as dominant in the summer games.

37. John Cena and Daniel Bryan refused to work the Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia and weren’t punished for taking a moral stand.  They should’ve boycotted The Greatest Royal Rumble, as well.

38. Lana Del Mar cancelled her gig in Apartheid Israel which greatly boosted the already thriving BDS movement, which makes Radiohead’s decision to go ahead with their performance last year even more unconscionable.

39. Alex Jones was kicked off of Facebook and Twitter after years of spreading misinformation and harming innocent people, like the parents of the slain kids in the horrific Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre, which he absurdly and repeatedly declared “a hoax”.  Facing a slew of lawsuits, following an acrimonious divorce, his paranoid goose is cooked.

40. Kevin Spacey was arrested for molesting a teenager in 2016.  Not sure that weird Let Me Be Frank video was a good idea.

41. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn vs. Daniel Bryan & Shane McMahon at WrestleMania 34.  A hot start, a very good match and a welcome return for the former American Dragon.

42. Eric Schneiderman was exposed as a violent misogynist and resigned as New York’s Attorney General.

43. Julia Salazar was elected to the New York State Senate.  She’s the only Democrat advocating for sex workers.  May she start a long overdue revolution in feminism.

44. Bad Witch by Nine Inch Nails.  Beneath the typically tuneful, noisy aggression, some surprising experimentation.  Who knew Trent Reznor could croon?

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Monday, December 31, 2018
7:42 p.m.

Curious Moments From Fire And Fury: Trump In The White House (Part Four)

34. A proud Trump privately admitted to feeding the media false information.

“If you couldn’t get press directly for yourself, you became a leaker. There was no happenstance news, in Trump’s view. All news was manipulated and designed, planned and planted. All news was to some extent fake–he understood that very well, because he himself had faked it so many times in his career. This was why he had so naturally cottoned to the ‘fake news’ label. ‘I’ve made stuff up forever, and they always print it,’ he bragged.”

35. Trump took credit for MBS becoming the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.

From Chapter 17:

“Within weeks of the trip, MBS, detaining MBN quite in the dead of night, would force him to relinquish the Crown Prince title, which MBS would then assume for himself. Trump would tell friends that he and Jared had engineered a Saudi coup: ‘We’ve put our man on top!'”

36. A lot of law firms don’t want to represent Trump.

Also from Chapter 17:

“…it certainly didn’t help that they were unable to hire a law firm with a top-notch white-collar government practice. By the time Bannon and Priebus were back in Washington, three blue-chip firms had said no. All of them were afraid they would face a rebellion among the younger staff if they represented Trump, afraid Trump would publicly humiliate them if the going got tough, and afraid Trump would stiff them for the bill.

In the end, nine top firms turned them down.”

37. Kushner & Ivanka retaliated against two frustrated, outgoing Trump lawyers by leaking dirt about them to the press.

As the media started successfully discrediting the original, false, then shifting assertions regarding the famous Trump Tower meeting that has been a focal point of the Mueller investigation, two of Trump’s attorneys saw the writing on the wall:

“Mark Corallo was instructed not to speak to the press, indeed not to even answer his phone. Later that week, Corallo, seeing no good outcome–and privately confiding that he believed the meeting on Air Force One represented a likely obstruction of justice–quit. (The Jarvanka side would put it out that Corallo was fired.)”

[snip]

“Likewise, the Trump family, no matter its legal exposure, was not going to be run by its lawyers. Jared and Ivanka helped to coordinate a set of lurid leaks–drinking, bad behavior, personal life in disarray–about Marc Kasowitz, who had advised the president to send the couple home. Shortly after the presidential party returned to Washington, Kasowitz was out.”

In Chapter 21, gelatinous salamander Steve Bannon offered his own view:

“Look, Kasowitz has known him for twenty-five years.  Kasowitz has gotten him out of all kinds of jams.  Kasowitz on the campaign–what did we have, a hundred women?  Kasowitz took care of all of them.  And now he lasts, what, four weeks?  He’s in the mumble tank. This is New York’s toughest lawyer, broken.  Mark Corallo, toughest motherfucker I ever met, just can’t do it.”

Wait, did Trump have one of his lawyers pay off “a hundred women” he had affairs with or is that number exaggerated?  Again, author Michael Wolff doesn’t follow up.

38. Anthony Scaramucci helped kill a damaging Kushner story so he could get a job in the White House.

From Chapter 20:

“Scaramucci called a reporter he knew to urge that an upcoming story about Kushner’s Russian contacts be spiked.  He followed up by having another mutual contact call the reporter to say that if the story was spiked it would help the Mooch get into the White House, whereupon the reporter would have special Mooch access.  The Mooch then assured Jared and Ivanka that he had, in this clever way, killed the story.”

39. Bannon’s theory on the true focus of the Mueller investigation:

From Chapter 21:

“This is all about money laundering…Their path to fucking Trump goes right through Paul Manafort, Don Jr., and Jared Kushner…It goes through Deutsche Bank and all the Kushner shit.  The Kushner shit is greasy.  They’re going to go right through that.  They’re going to roll those guys up and say play me or trade me.”

[snip]

“They’re going to crack Don Junior like an egg on National TV.  Michael Cohen, cracked like an egg.”

40. Bannon doesn’t think Trump will survive his Presidency.

Also from Chapter 21:

“I’m pretty good at coming up with solutions, I came up with a solution for his broke-dick campaign in about a day, but I don’t see this.  I don’t see a plan for getting through.  Now, I gave him a plan…seal the Oval Office…send [Jared & Ivanka] home…get rid of Hope [Hicks], all these deadbeats…You listen to your [lawyers] and never talk about this stuff again, you just conduct yourself as commander in chief and then you can be president for eight years.  If you don’t, you’re not, simple.  But he’s the president…and he’s clearly choosing to go down another path…you can’t stop him.  The guy is going to call his own plays.  He’s Trump…”

41. Bannon knew Anthony Scaramucci wouldn’t last very long as communications director.

“He’ll be on that podium for two days and he’ll be so chopped he’ll bleed out everywhere.  He’ll literally blow up in a week…Hiring Scaramucci?  He’s not qualified to do anything.  He runs a fund of funds.  Do you know what a fund of funds is?  It’s not a fund.”

42. Trump is in deep denial about the Ku Klux Klan.

From Chapter 22:

“Privately, he kept trying to rationalize why someone would be a member of the KKK–that, they might not actually believe what the KKK believed, and that the KKK probably does not believe what it used to believe, and, anyway, who really know what the KKK believes now?”

43. Maybe this is why Nikki Haley recently resigned as UN Ambassador.

From the Epilogue:

“Haley–‘as ambitious as Lucifer,’ in the characterization of one member of the senior staff–had concluded that Trump’s tenure would last, at best, a single term, and that she, with requisite submission, could be his heir apparent.”

[snip]

“The president had been spending a notable amount of private time with Haley on Air Force One and was seen to be grooming her for a national political future.”

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
7:09 p.m.

Published in: on October 31, 2018 at 7:10 pm  Comments (2)