Saturday, April 14, 2018

the last book I ever read (Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff, excerpt thirteen)

from Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff:

Unbeknownst to senior staff, or to the comms office—other than by way of a pro forma schedule note—the president had given a major interview to the New York Times. Jared and Ivanka, along with Hope Hicks, had set it up. The Times’s Maggie Haberman, Trump’s bête noire (“very mean, and not smart”) and yet his go-to journalist for some higher sort of approval, had been called in to see the president with her colleagues Peter Baker and Michael Schmidt. The result was one of the most peculiar and ill-advised interview in presidential history, from a president who had already, several times before, achieved that milestone.

In the interview, Trump had done his daughter and son-in-law’s increasingly frantic bidding. He had, even if to no clear end and without certain strategy, continued on his course of threatening the attorney general for recusing himself and opening the door to a special prosecutor. He openly pushed Sessions to resign—mocking and insulting him and daring him to try to stay. However much this seemed to advance no one’s cause, except perhaps that of the special prosecutor, Bannon’s incredulity—“Jefferson Beauregard Sessions is not going to go anywhere”—was most keenly focused on another remarkable passage in the interview: the president had admonished the special counsel not to cross the line into his family’s finances.

Ehhh … ehhh … ehhh!” screeched Bannon, making the sound of an emergency alarm. “Don’t look here! Let’s tell a prosecutor what not to look at!”

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