Now that Bob Woodward’s book about Donald Trump is just about a week away from hitting the shelves, we’re starting to get a little more insight as to what’s inside. Today, we got word that both Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly are quoted in the book. Mattis apparently said of Trump that he had the understanding of “a fifth- or sixth-grader.” And Kelly, it would seem, told the author, “It’s pointless to try to convince (Trump) of anything… I don’t even know why any of us are here. This is the worst job I’ve ever had.” Here’s Trump’s tweeted response to the latter point.

And, yes, we now live in a nation where our Commander-in-Chief is asking the top-ranking officials in his administration to issue formal statements declaring that he, our President, is not technically an idiot.

Believe it or not, though, the revelation that everyone in the White House sees our President as a simpleton wasn’t even the most significant revelation of the day. No, there was also this excerpt from Woodward’s book, which, by the way, is appropriately titled “Fear,” about Donald Trump’s belief that the ghosts of former presidents are watching him, conspiring against him… Shakespearean, isn’t it?

As much as I’d like to say this is some kind of paranoid delusion on the part of our President, it rings really true to me, given what I know of LBJ. He was an ornery son of a bitch.

update: Alas, it would appear that Donald Trump does not spend his days fending off an angry mob of former presidents from beyond the grave, tying his show laces together and giving him wedgies. No, it was apparently just an internet hoax. I’m generally pretty good about sniffing such things out, but this one got by me, and I am sorry. I guess I just wanted so badly for it to be true that I suspended belief. I will be more vigilant in the future.

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  1. Posted September 4, 2018 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    If I were Trump, and it really is LBJ, I’d watch my bunghole.

  2. Kat
    Posted September 5, 2018 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Trump also had Mattis write a letter stating that he’s no dummy.

  3. Kat
    Posted September 5, 2018 at 7:13 am | Permalink


  4. Jean Henry
    Posted September 5, 2018 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Nice, Kat. I hadn’t seen that.

  5. M
    Posted September 5, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    How would you disprove that LBJ was flicking his ears? What does that experiment look like?

  6. M
    Posted September 5, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    I wonder how he knew it was LBJ and not Millard Filmore flicking his ears. Did LBJ say something to him while doing it? I hope someone asks Sarah Sanders.

  7. John Brown
    Posted September 5, 2018 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    It’s not ghosts. Just David Duke in a sheet.

  8. Jean Henry
    Posted September 5, 2018 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    I’m going to go ahead and call it. The anonymous west wing NYT op-ed contributor is LBJ’s ghost. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/05/opinion/trump-white-house-anonymous-resistance.html

  9. Mike
    Posted September 6, 2018 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    the ghost thing is a hoax? Snopes is your friend ;)

  10. Posted September 6, 2018 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Damn. Looking back, it seems so obvious. Well, they got me. I’m sorry. At least I wasn’t alone. I see that Stephen Colbert was suckered in as well… What a terrific story. I do love the idea of LBJ flicking at his ears. I will post a correction.

  11. site admin
    Posted September 10, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    “Were you shocked by what you uncovered in this book?” -@savannahguthrie

    “I’ve never seen an instance when the president is so detached from the reality of what’s going on.” -@realBobWoodward

One Trackback

  1. […] Yesterday, as you may recall, news broke that Bob Woodward’s explosive new book about Trump will contain a story about White House economic adviser Gary Cohn removing papers from Donald Trump’s desk, in hopes of avoiding a national security crisis in South Korea. Trump, Cohn apparently felt, couldn’t be trusted to read whatever was in those papers, objectively asses the information that they contained, and give thoughtful direction. So, according to Woodward’s account, he just took the documents in question off Trump’s desk. And, this story, of course, was a shared alongside quotes from members of Trump’s senior staff about his being an “idiot” who had the understanding of “a fifth- or sixth-grader”. […]

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