I read Fire & Fury. I don’t know if I can read Siege, Michael Wolff’s sequel to his mega best-selling book on our long national nightmare.
After all, there are so many things I could be doing with my time. Get high and watch H.R. Pufnstuf. Inject psychedelic reindeer urine into my eyeballs. Smoke a pound of DMT and leap into a Hieronymus Bosch painting.
Or, yes, read Siege.
Sounds like they’re all pretty much the same experience anyway.
The Guardian, which has been aggressively promoting Wolff’s latest, has a review up today, and it’s crazy-pants.
A few choice excerpts:
As Wolff describes it, Donald Trump calls Kushner “a girl”. As for his vice-president, he’s a “religious nut”. “Why does he look at me like that?” Trump asks about Pence’s beatific gaze. As for Pence’s wife, Karen? “She really gives me the creeps.”
Why does he look at you like that? Because you demand that kind of obsequious fealty from your underlings, Dear Leader.
Oh, and that whole “deep state” conspiracy that’s metastasized from a few vocal nutters to roughly a third of the country? Steve Bannon invented it out of whole cloth. Shocking!
Bannon volunteers that he helped concoct the story that the Mueller investigation was the demon spawn of the “deep state”, and says there was never much substance to it. As Wolff tells it, “among the nimblest conspiracy provocateurs of the Trump age, Bannon spelled out the … narrative in powerful detail”. But then Bannon’s voice pierces his own self-generated din: “You do realize … that none of this is true.” Allow that one to sink in.
And remember Wolff implying, after the publication of Fire & Fury, that Trump had had an affair in the White House? Many speculated that he was talking about Nikki Haley, and Haley herself strongly denied the allegation. Wolff rightly took some heat over the insinuation, which he likely made to goose sales of his book.
So what was that all about? Ockham’s razor can be applied here: It’s likely that Trump was simply lying about his sexual exploits:
Wolff reports of Trump bragging to others of a dalliance with the former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley and of his supposedly “banging” a junior White House staffer who had “a way about her”. Wolff badly burned himself when he first raised the notion of a Trump-Haley affair. Haley herself angrily and adamantly denied it. As for the unnamed White House staffer, Wolff ponders: “Locker room talk? Or all part of a new alternative reality that only he seemed to be living in?”
Unfortunately, we all get dragged into Trump’s alternative reality eventually.
Oh, and then there’s this “shocking” revelation. Turns out Trump isn’t so pro-life after all, and he wasn’t completely sold on Brett “Bart O’Kavanaugh” Kavanaugh:
Specifically, Wolff writes, Trump started to ask whether Kavanaugh was the end product of a Catholic plot to abolish abortion. Trump is not so pro-life. Who’d have guessed? Wolff’s Trump also blamed his nominee’s weepy persona on the church. “He seems weak,” the president is quoted as saying. “Not strong. He was probably molested by a priest.”
I can already hear the hosts of hillbilly cherubim and seraphim screeching “fake news” in response to Wolff’s latest Trump take-down. But as with so much that’s happened over the past two-plus years, the revelations contained therein are shocking but not really that surprising.
Now … let the unhinged, feckless tweetstorms begin!
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