Game of Trump
- 17 Jul 2017 at 12:17
- WRITER: NEW YORK TIMES
President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron review troops during an arrival ceremony at Les Invalides in Paris, July 13, 2017. So far in life, Mr Trump has survived and thrived on the same philosophy espoused by Littlefinger in “Game of Thrones”: “Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder,” writes New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd. (NYT photo)
WASHINGTON -- Wicked siblings willing to do anything for power. Secret deals with sworn enemies. The shock of a dead body. A Wall. Foreign bawds, guns for hire, and snakes. Back-stabbing, betrayal and charges of treason.
Little birds spying and tattling. A maniacal mad king and his court of scheming, self-absorbed princesses and princelings, swathed in the finest silk and the most brazen immorality, ruling with total disregard for the good of their people.
The night in Washington is dark and full of terrors. The Game of Trump has brought a pagan lawlessness never before seen in the capital.
So far in life, Donald Trump has survived and thrived on the same philosophy espoused by Littlefinger in “Game of Thrones”: “Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder.”
But is the rampant deception and corruption in his gaudy, jangly realm about to engulf the Emperor of Chaos? Is this the grisly endgame for Cersei in King’s Landing and Donald in Washington? A talent to distract on Twitter, our Joffrey-like president will learn, is not the same as the ability to walk through fire.
The crowds are swelling, yelling: “Shame. Shame. Shame.”
Hugging their tattered brand, the family tried for a respite this weekend. Ivanka and Jared fled to Sun Valley to hang out with the global elite at Herb Allen’s conference. After escaping to the City of Light for Bastille Day -- poor battered Sean Spicer had to settle for a party at the French Embassy here -- Mr Trump and Melania were going to his Bedminster club to attend the US Women’s Open being held there. (Some women protested, saying the Open should be closed to Donald Trump.)
Mr Trump always inflates his numbers, using his own special brand of ego arithmetic. But Don Jr and Jared have been busy deflating their numbers.
Don Jr pooh-poohed the meeting revealed in The New York Times’ scoop that he met with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer with Kremlin contacts, and Rob Goldstone, a publicist who represents a Russian pop star who featured Mr Trump in his music video. But it later turned out there was more to the picture.
First we learned there were six, not four, people in the meeting, including a lobbyist who just happened to be a former member of the Soviet unit dealing in counterintelligence. Then we found out there were eight. Next, we’ll find out Mr Putin was FaceTiming from Moscow.
Don Jr was not ashamed that he had gleefully met with Russians to collect dirt on Hillary Clinton. He was only annoyed, as he told Sean Hannity in the womb of Fox News, that the meeting turned out to be “a nothing” and “just a wasted 20 minutes”. The thought that it was improper has not entered his mind.
Jared Kushner has had to amend his list of foreign contacts three times, adding more than 100 names that had somehow eluded him. “His lawyers have said this was inadvertent and that a member of his staff had prematurely hit the ‘send’ button for the form before it was completed,” Michael Isikoff wrote in Yahoo News.
No one in Washington, a land intimately familiar with obnoxiously oppressive forms, believed that. As Vox noted: “But the thing is, there isn’t one ‘send button’ for this kind of security clearance form. There are 28.”
As theatre, the Trump saga is spectacular, with a dazzling collection of fools and jesters. Who could make up Rob Goldstone, the rotund, vodka-swilling, chocolate-inhaling, British publicist who liked to party at the Russian Tea Room?
The Daily Beast recalled that back in the ‘80s, when Goldstone represented John Denver and Michael Jackson, he went to Ethiopia for Band Aid, a rock concert to help famine victims, and managed to gain 3kg. As he explained to The Sydney Morning Herald, “I mean, what else is there to do in a country like Ethiopia but eat?” In 2010, Goldstone wrote an essay in The Times on “The Tricks and Trials of Traveling While Fat”.
And who possibly could concoct Trump lawyer Marc Kasowitz? According to ProPublica, after a man watching Rachel Maddow emailed Kasowitz Wednesday telling him to “Resign Now”, the lawyer shot back with a bunch of nasty messages, such as “Watch your back, bitch” and “I already know where you live, I’m on you. … You will see me. I promise. Bro.”
Mr Kasowitz, ProPublica reports, has a drinking problem that could hamper him getting a security clearance. He has grown increasingly frustrated by Mr Trump’s lack of discipline as the president sulks and rages in his tent over the Russia labyrinth, according to The Washington Post.
So this lawyer is the one trying to instill discipline in that president?
In an interview with reporters on Air Force One on the way to Paris, Mr Trump once more tried to deflect blame from Russia for the election hacks. “And I’m not saying it wasn’t Russia,” he said. “What I’m saying is that we have to protect ourselves no matter who it is. You know, China is very good at this. I hate to say it, North Korea is very good at this. Look what they did to Sony Studios.”
He bragged about his cunning when he brought up the hacks with Mr Putin. After citing it once, Mr Trump said, “I then said to him again, in a totally different way.”
Wow. That must have really outfoxed the lethal former KGB agent. You know nothing, Donald Trump.
Mr Trump defended his beleaguered oldest son — who is the same age as Emmanuel Macron -- as “a good boy”. Don Jr certainly learned Trump family values.
In the immortal words of the villainous Ramsay Bolton on “Game of Thrones”: “If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.”
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