That was the single worst day of Donald Trump‘s administration. Sorry, Grandpa Dobbs, but your Cheeto-hued idol stuck his prick in a light socket, and the results aren’t pretty.
Set aside that Trump’s foundering campaign has burned through a billion-with-a-b dollars to end up down in key swing states and nationally. That the vaunted digital Death Star magic of Brad Parscale has been replaced by the basic-bitch campaign of Bill Stepien—no wartime consigliere but a struggling accountant canceling polls, media buys, and field operations around the country to try and stop the political bleeding. Trump barely knows who Stepien is, except as That Guy I’m Going to Fire Next.
All that’s just icing. No, this week’s wounds are from Trump’s own quivering, liverish lips and the shit sandwich he stuffed between them on Wednesday. It’s not every day that your hubris and dumbfuckery leads you to do 18 on-the-record taped interviews with Bob Woodward confessing to, oh, 200,000 fucking cases of manslaughter because you lied and lied and lied and lied and lied and lied and lied again to the American people about the impact of COVID. It’s not some vague J’Accuse from the resistance now; Trump admitted early on that he knew just how deadly and how dangerous the virus would be, and lied anyway. That’s some killer clown show.
Trump sat in those meetings with Woodward while the recorder was rolling and confessed to downplaying the impact of the virus. Even his second-rate intellect was able to process that the COVID death rate was much higher than the regular flu. One of his many talking points during the course of the pandemic has been that it is no worse than the flu, nothing more than a bad cold, and a liberal hoax. Liberate Michigan!
That was a really, really, really dumb lie, a lie of such blazing, white-hot stupidity that you wonder what possible world Trump thought it would work in.
The ads write themselves: First play the tape of Donald, bored and smug in the residence at night on the phone in February with his new bestie Bob admitting the danger of a virus maybe five times “more deadly than even your strenuous flus.” Then the press conferences where he insisted day after day and month after month that COVID was a trifle.
That admission was such a blockbuster that it obscured the news, also from Woodward’s book, that Trump thinks his generals are “a bunch of pussies”—capping a week where he alienated a meaningful fraction of his political base by shitting on America’s war dead and our currently serving troops by wondering aloud just what is in it for them since there’s no real money in service.
Such a blockbuster that it obscured the news about Trump—who is not a smart man—announcing a highly classified program for the development of an “incredible” nuclear weapon. Bragging to Woodward about how “We have stuff that Putin and Xi have never heard about before” is ludicrous to the point of slapstick, circa Strangelove.
Finally, the Woodward interview peeled back another layer of Trump’s con game with his rubes: the idea that everything is fake news. The tapes are unspinnably and unequivocally pure Trump. This isn’t some reporter’s interpretation of Trump. This isn’t some editor cherry-picking facts to make Trump look like more of a stooge that he does on his own. This isn’t some headline writer sniping at a president he doesn’t like.
No, this was Donald Trump in an act of stupidity perhaps unparalleled in Washington media history. He tried to play Bob Fucking Woodward. Nothing about these interviews can be unspun or unrung. No matter how gamely his enablers and the comms shop grunt out excuses, his words are there, on tape. This wasn’t a president trying to calmly lead the nation through crisis; this was Trump simply not giving a fuck.
Even among his supporters, there’s a sense that these interviews weren’t exactly the smartest move. Like crabs in a bucket mutilating each other, Wednesday night’s episode of Tucker Carlson’s Fishsticks-n-Fascism Power Hour laid bare just how bad they know this was. Carlson lit up Lindsey Graham, Trump’s No. 1 shinebox boy, taking the parasitic senator to the woodshed for encouraging Trump to sit down with Woodward and even attending one of the conversations himself.
This is the part of the show where we enjoy a delicious glass of 2020 schadenfreude. It has a light crisp nose and a beautiful snappy finish.
Yes, trying to roll Bob Woodward was deeply on-brand for Trump, who never met a person he wouldn’t at least try to con. But it was also deeply, profoundly off-brand for a man who sells himself as an iconoclastic outsider and drainer of Washington swamps. There’s nothing more swampy than sitting down with Woodward to try and get him to tell your version of history. For Washington insiders, the whole thing comes across as both pathetic and pedestrian.
Speaking of pathetic and pedestrian people having miserable days, Kayleigh Mendacity, the White House spokesbot, opened her briefing Wednesday with the whopper of all whoppers that the president had never lied to the American people about COVID—never mind what we heard him say on that tape. Her function is not to inform the public but to troll the press like a lower-end OANN host, which is what she’ll be after Trump leaves office one way or the other.
Trump’s Senate defenders were their usual profiles in chickenshit. You’ll be shocked, shocked to hear that many of them have never heard of reading or Bob Woodward or newspapers or websites or the internet. They stared at reporters as if the questions were coming in Urdu and mumbled excuses: I haven’t read it. I don’t know about it. I didn’t hear that. What are words? Who am I? Why am I here?
These are men and women serving in the highest legislative body in the land who are unable to summon any courage whatsoever to face their tormented fear of Donald Trump. They all know it’s true, that he lied and has been lying from the beginning. If they weren’t a pack of opportunistic political jackals nipping at Trump‘s leavings, they would roundly condemn him. Instead they’ll stick with groveling and crotch sniffing.
Donald Trump and his enablers had their worst day yet, with worse still to come. You love to see it.