Friday, March 29, 2019

the last book I ever read (The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis, excerpt two)

from The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis:

Not long after the people on TV announced that Trump had won Pennsylvania, Jared Kushner grabbed Christie anxiously and said, “We have to have a transition meeting tomorrow morning!” Even before that meeting, Christie had made sure that Trump knew the protocol for his discussions with foreign leaders. The transition team had prepared a document to let him know how these were meant to go. The first few calls were easy—the very first was always with the prime minister of Great Britain—but two dozen calls in you were talking to some kleptocrat and tiptoeing around sensitive security issues. Before any of the calls could be made, however, the president of Egypt called in to the switchboard at Trump Tower and somehow got the operator to put him straight through to Trump. “Trump was like . . . I love the Bangles! You know that song ‘Walk Like an Egyptian’?” recalled on of his advisers on the scene.

That had been the first hint Christie had of trouble. He’d asked Jared Kushner what that was about, and Jared had simply said, Donald ran a very unconventional campaign, and he’s not going to follow any of the protocols. The next hint that the transition might not go as planned came from Mike Pence. Now, incredibly, Vice President-elect Mike Pence. Christie met with Pence the day after the election, to discuss the previous lists of people who had been vetted for jobs.The meeting began with a prayer, followed by Pence’s first, ominous question: Why isn’t Puzder on the list for Labor? Andrew Puzder, the head of CKE Restaurants, the holding company for Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., wanted to be the secretary of labor. Christie explained that Puzder’s ex-wife had accused him of abuse, and his fast-food restaurant employees had complained of mistreatment. Even if he was somehow the ideal candidate to become the next secretary of labor, he wouldn’t survive his Senate confirmation hearings. (Trump ignored the advice and nominated Puzder. In the controversy that followed, Puzder not only failed to be confirmed, but stepped down from his job at the fast-food company.)

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