It looks as though Trump really did ghostwrite Don Jr.’s laughably pathetic letter attempting to explain his Trump Tower meeting with Russians as having been about international adoption policy

By now we’ve all read at least a significant portion of the Michael Wolff book, right? If not, please turn away from your computer for a minute, as what I’m about to say might be considered something of a spoiler… The biggest takeaway from Fire and the Fury, as least as I see it, isn’t that we elected a man to lead our country who is manifestly unfit, in both intelligence and temperament, to do so, but that this opinion is apparently universally shared by every single person to have ever come into contact with the man, even his closest associates and family members. I wasn’t at all shocked to hear that Trump didn’t know who John Boehner was, when the former Speaker of the House was suggested as a potential Chief of Staff, or that Trump didn’t have the attention span to make it past the 4th amendment when a well-meaning advisor attempted to explain the Constitution to him. All that, while completely horrifying, was stuff that I completely expected when I heard that Michael Wolff had been given unregulated access to the White House. [Functioning, disciplined White Houses, for what it’s worth, don’t allow guys like Wolff to just hang around, having casual conversations with people, collecting dirt.] What I didn’t expect, however, was the fact that almost everyone Wolff spoke with inside the White House seemed to be in agreement not only that the administration was a colossal shitshow, but that this uninquisitive, selfish and cruel baby-man who they served, was, far from being “a very stable genius,” actually a danger to our nation. But I don’t want to talk about any of that right now. No, I just want to focus on one specific story from the Wolff book – the story of how it was decided that, when it became known that the New York Times was about to release their story about Kushner, Trump Jr. and Manafort taking a meeting with Russian agents at Trump Tower during the election, the President himself decided that they should try to play it all off like the three people running the campaign just decided to take some time away from the race to discuss the plight of Russian orphans.

Before we get to that, though, I just want to say that obstruction of justice is something we’ve already seen from Donald Trump multiple times. Trump himself told Lester Holt on network television that he fired FBI Director Jim Comey because he wouldn’t stop the Russia investigation. And, the day after firing Comey, in a secret meeting that the press wasn’t made aware of, Trump pretty much said the same thing to the Russian ambassador at the White House. Then, of course, there was the time when he pretty much admitted to not coming forward and telling the Department of Justice when he knew that his national security advisor, Michael Flynn, had been lying to investigators about his communications with the Russians. And, thanks to the reporting of the New York Times this past week, we know that Trump also tried to interfere and stop Sessions from recusing himself from all things Russia-related, as he wanted an Attorney General who could stop the investigation. [Trump, accounting to multiple New York Times sources, sent White House counsel Don McGahn to stop Sessions from recusing himself.] So the story I’m about to share shouldn’t shock you. We know that Trump is guilty of obstruction already. This is just one more example, although, perhaps, a more interesting one, as it involves Ivanka drugging herself to avoid participation… Here, from the Fire and Fury, is the story of how it came to be that Donald Trump Jr. issued his statement telling everyone that, while it was true that he, Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner – the three top members of the Trump 2016 campaign – had taken a meeting with Russians at Trump Tower prior to the election, they only did so out of concern for Russian orphans.

So, if we’re to believe Wolff, as I do in this instance, everyone on Air Force One fought to get as far as possible away from the President, as he, Hope Hicks, and possibly Jared Kushner, came up with a plan to lie about the purpose of the July 2016 meeting in Trump Tower, in spite of the fact that they knew damn well that the Times already had the email chain which proceeded the meeting, in which the Russians promised dirt on Hillary Clinton. Ivanka, knowing what was going down, made it a point to tell everyone that she was taking a sleeping pill and leaving. And the President’s other most trusted advisors went off to watch the movie Fargo, which, ironically, is about a poorly-conceived-of crime perpetrated by stupid people who are eventually caught.

And, as Wolf says later in the book, not only does the President’s former advisor, Steve Bannon, think the Trump Tower meeting was in itself “treasonous,” but, for what it’s worth, he thinks Trump Jr. probably brought the lawyer from the Russian mob and her associates upstairs to meet with Donald Trump himself. “The chance that Don Jr. did not walk these Jumos up to his father’s office of the 26th floor is zero,” Bannon apparently told Wolff.

Will this be enough to make a difference? Almost surely not. The Republicans know that Trump is guilty of obstruction, and yet they’ve chosen to do nothing. As long as he’s not attacking them with degrading nicknames, and signing the legislation they put in front of him, Republicans in Congress just don’t care. Even the ones, like Lindsey Graham, who were once fairly outspoken about Trump, have now come back to the fold. Bob Corker, in fact, who just referred to the White House as an adult daycare facility a few weeks ago, travelled with Trump to Tennessee today, where they appeared to be the best of friends.

Just imagine for a moment if Obama had done any one of these things. Just close you eyes and imagine him allowing one of his daughters to take his seat at a conference of international leaders while he ran off to Air Force One to dictate a fake explanation for why his other daughter had met with a foreign agent who had promised the hacked emails of his chief political adversary… But, because all of this is pretty much happening in broad daylight, we somehow accept it as acceptable in post-Trump America. And it’s not. None of this is…

OK, I’d like to say more, but I’m going to take a sleeping pill and watch Fargo now. Wake me when the treason is over.

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  1. Iron Lung
    Posted January 9, 2018 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    On the one hand, the book was entertaining. On the other, it was more disturbing than a Cronenberg film. Did it not occur to any of them that it might be a good idea to be careful with the press?

    Oh, and Trump overlooked pedophilia. Actually, he was “palling around” with pedophiles.

  2. M
    Posted January 9, 2018 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Another revelation is the book is that, for all intents and purposes, Ivanka is Trump’s wife, while Hope Hicks is his daughter. I’d love to have heard her interview with Mueller.

  3. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 9, 2018 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    He’s on the ropes! If one of those shots connects he COULD go down!!! ahaha!

  4. Kyle Griffin by proxy
    Posted January 9, 2018 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Counsel to “Fire and Fury” author and publisher responds to Trump’s legal counsel: “My clients do not intend to cease publication, no such retraction will occur, and no apology is warranted.”

  5. Lynne
    Posted January 9, 2018 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Trump doesn’t have anything to worry about. Most Americans won’t read it. 26% percent of American adults haven’t even read *any* books in the past 12 months.

  6. Iron Lung
    Posted January 9, 2018 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    It is astounding that we have a President who doesn’t know anything about the document that lists his own job description.

    It is even more astounding that people who not 5 years ago were bowing down to the Constitution (or at least to what they thought it said) would support this buffoon.

  7. CNN
    Posted January 9, 2018 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Michael Caputo, a former adviser to Trump’s presidential campaign, says the decision to give White House access to Michael Wolff was a mistake

  8. Jean Henry
    Posted January 9, 2018 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    Trump hasn’t read any books in decades, if ever.
    “I read passages, I read areas, chapters, I don’t have the time,” Trump said. “When was the last time I watched a baseball game? I’m watching [Fox] all the time.”

  9. Jean Henry
    Posted January 9, 2018 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    Trump has re-nominated K.T. McFarland for Ambassador to Singapore even though she was implicated in Russia collusion, as party to compromising emails with Mike Flynn showing he had in fact informed the transition team that he was talking to the Russian ambassador.
    Imagine if Obama had…

  10. Jean Henry
    Posted January 9, 2018 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Feinstein has released the Fusion GPS transcript, undermining the Grassley/Graham bait and switch. (It’s not especially revelatory but puts the lie to the GOP claim that its release would compromise their investigation.) Kudos. Dems finally showing some guts.

  11. Posted January 9, 2018 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Yup. I’m reading through it all now, thinking about how I’d like to mention it here… It’s ten hours of testimony, so there’s a lot to digest.

  12. Paul Edwards
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    Mark, spell check: John Boehner. Great piece as usual!

4 Trackbacks

  1. […] a “witch hunt,” and did everything in his power to slow it down. [For example, writing a letter on his son’s behalf, explaining the presence of a Russian delegation at Trump Tower during the campaign as having been […]

  2. […] As for this not being exactly surprise, here’s something that I posted this past January, shortly after Michael Wolff’s book, Fire and Fury, came out. My post was titled “It looks as though Trump really did ghostwrite Don Jr.’s laughably pathetic letter attempting to e….” […]

  3. […] we first found out about that secret July 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Trump campaign officials and Russian operatives, Donald Trump Jr., as you may recall, came forward with a ridiculous explanation. In a letter […]

  4. […] team.] And, what’s more, they not only lied about the meeting when it was discovered, but the President himself authored the lie, and then lied repeatedly about having done […]

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