Three (now four) new books about Trump's last days reveal the extent of Trump's madness

Thomas Veil

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I'm kinda surprised no one has started this topic yet, although it is an evolving story with new revelations being dropped almost every day.

Three books are set to be published soon: "Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump White House" by Michael Wolff; "Frankly, We Did Win This Election" by Michael Bender; and "I Alone Can Fix" by Philip Rucker and Carol Leaning.

Some of the stories in these books detail things we've only heard parts of before. Some are just disturbing; some of them are stunning.

On a visit to Europe to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the first world war, Donald Trump insisted to his then chief of staff, John Kelly: “Well, Hitler did a lot of good things.”...

Bender reports that Trump made the remark during an impromptu history lesson in which Kelly “reminded the president which countries were on which side during the conflict” and “connected the dots from the first world war to the second world war and all of Hitler’s atrocities”.
...Bender says unnamed sources reported that Kelly “told the president that he was wrong, but Trump was undeterred”, emphasizing German economic recovery under Hitler during the 1930s.

“Kelly pushed back again,” Bender writes, “and argued that the German people would have been better off poor than subjected to the Nazi genocide.”

Bender adds that Kelly told Trump that even if his claim about the German economy under the Nazis after 1933 were true, “you cannot ever say anything supportive of Adolf Hitler. You just can’t.”

This is bizarre for a number of reasons, the least of which is that Trump had to be reminded of who was on what side during WWII. More to the point, we all know Trump is transactional, but to him Nazi Germany was about economics, not about mass murder and world domination.

The fact that Kelly has to remind Trump that you can't ever say anything good about Hitler...just unbelievable.

Then there was Trump calling for the execution of whoever leaked that Trump had hidden in a bunker during a nearby George Floyd protest.

Trump, in the days following his time in the bunker, held a tense meeting with top military, law enforcement and West Wing advisers, in which he aired grievances over the leak.

"Trump boiled over about the bunker story as soon as they arrived and shouted at them to smoke out whoever had leaked it. It was the most upset some aides had ever seen the president," Bender writes.

"'Whoever did that, they should be charged with treason!' Trump yelled. 'They should be executed!'" the book reads.

Then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows "repeatedly tried to calm the president as startled aides avoided eye contact," Bender writes...

And also Trump blowing a fuse when Fox called Arizona on election night.

Co-anchor Martha MacCallum said that indeed Fox had called Arizona, a hotly contested battleground state with 11 electoral college votes.

Co-anchor Bret Baier chimed in. “Time out,” he said. “This is a big development. Fox News’s decision desk is calling Arizona for Joe Biden.” Baier added, “Biden picking up Arizona changes the math.”

Trump, who had been watching Fox, was livid. He could not fathom that the conservative news network he had long considered an extension of his campaign was the first news organization to call Arizona for Biden. This was a betrayal.
“What the f--- is Fox doing?” Trump screamed. Then he barked orders to Kushner: “Call Rupert! Call James and Lachlan!” And to Jason Miller: “Get Sammon. Get Hemmer. They’ve got to reverse this.”...

Giuliani pushed the president to forget about the Arizona call and just say he won — to step into the East Room and deliver a victory speech. Never mind that Meadows had earlier snapped at Giuliani and said the president couldn’t just declare himself the winner.

“Just go declare victory right now,” Giuliani told Trump. “You’ve got to go declare victory now.”

And Trump explaining how protesters should be met with extreme violence.

"That's how you're supposed to handle these people," Trump told his top law enforcement and military officials, according to Bender. "Crack their skulls!"
Trump also told his team that he wanted the military to go in and "beat the f--k out" of the civil rights protesters, Bender writes.

"Just shoot them," Trump said on multiple occasions inside the Oval Office, according to the excerpts.
When Milley and then-Attorney General William Barr would push back, Trump toned it down, but only slightly, Bender adds.

"Well, shoot them in the leg—or maybe the foot," Trump said. "But be hard on them!"

Or that Gen. Milley formed a plan with the other Joint Chiefs just in case Trump was mad enough to attempt a coup.

The top brass was so disturbed by Trump's rhetoric casting doubt on the legitimacy of the election before it was held that the leaders discussed contingency plans for how to thwart any illegal power grabs by the president, including how and when to resign in protest over his actions.

"They may try, but they're not going to f****** succeed," Milley told his officers, according to Leonnig and Rucker. "You can't do this without the military. You can't do this without the CIA and the FBI. We're the guys with the guns."
The alarm only increased after the election, when Trump and his allies contested the results and called on his supporters to oppose the legitimacy of the electoral process, often implying violence may be necessary.

"This is a Reichstag moment," Milley told his deputies in the days before Jan. 6, a reference to the 1933 burning of the German parliament that helped usher in the Nazi regime in Germany, Leonnig and Rucker write. "The gospel of the Führer."

There are other items, like Trump mobilizing an effort to get states to reverse their results, but these should be enough to scare the pants off of anybody.

The publishers are, of course, revealing these things piecemeal in order to pique interest in the books. So more details might still be coming.
 

Edd

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I'm kinda surprised no one has started this topic yet, although it is an evolving story with new revelations being dropped almost every day.

Three books are set to be published soon: "Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump White House" by Michael Wolff; "Frankly, We Did Win This Election" by Michael Bender; and "I Alone Can Fix" by Philip Rucker and Carol Leaning.

Some of the stories in these books detail things we've only heard parts of before. Some are just disturbing; some of them are stunning.




This is bizarre for a number of reasons, the least of which is that Trump had to be reminded of who was on what side during WWII. More to the point, we all know Trump is transactional, but to him Nazi Germany was about economics, not about mass murder and world domination.

The fact that Kelly has to remind Trump that you can't ever say anything good about Hitler...just unbelievable.

Then there was Trump calling for the execution of whoever leaked that Trump had hidden in a bunker during a nearby George Floyd protest.



And also Trump blowing a fuse when Fox called Arizona on election night.




And Trump explaining how protesters should be met with extreme violence.




Or that Gen. Milley formed a plan with the other Joint Chiefs just in case Trump was mad enough to attempt a coup.




There are other items, like Trump mobilizing an effort to get states to reverse their results, but these should be enough to scare the pants off of anybody.

The publishers are, of course, revealing these things piecemeal in order to pique interest in the books. So more details might still be coming.
That Hitler stuff makes me wonder if that’s Steven Miller pissing in his ear, Jewish heritage aside.
 

Roller

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None of this is terribly surprising given what's been known about Trump for years, and these revelations probably won't sway any of his supporters. He was right when he said he could shoot them and still get their vote. It's especially true of GOP politicians, for whom keeping their job supersedes all other considerations.
 
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Thomas Veil

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Okay, now I admit…this one’s not scary. This one’s just funny.

"I think it would be hard if George Washington came back from the dead and he chose Abraham Lincoln as his vice-president, I think it would have been very hard for them to beat me," Trump told Washington Post journalists Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig.


What an ego. 🙄
 

Yoused

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Say what you will about the man, at least he killed Hitler. Can we give him that?
 

Edd

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He could be led down any path as long as the ego is fed.

Mr Trump, have you heard there’s strong support for your 2022 run from the vampire community?

Well listen, I’ve always thought vampires were very good looking people, I really like vampires.
 

Alli

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I have listened to excerpts from all those books mentioned in the first post. I just don’t know which one I’ll read first.
 
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He could be led down any path as long as the ego is fed.

Mr Trump, have you heard there’s strong support for your 2022 run from the vampire community?

Well listen, I’ve always thought vampires were very good looking people, I really like vampires.
Definitely the right skin tone for his base to get on board with.

Always weird to me that a bunch of white supremacists chose a dude who looks like a tangerine as their 'god king'.
 

Alli

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And then there’s this.

B8D95328-E003-483C-9CB0-1F7F2E01FFD8.jpeg
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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And then there’s this.

B8D95328-E003-483C-9CB0-1F7F2E01FFD8.jpeg

Other than the obvious that briefly throwing him in prison didn’t help, briefly because he got bonus points for being seen as a real patriot, the US Great Depression that also pummeled Germany is what really elevated him from has-been clown to the only man with solutions. The status quo bureaucracy wasn’t offering solutions. Currently half our bureaucracy is doing its best to block solutions while scaling back access to voting.

We are now a society hellbent on short-term team wins with no concern for the long-term repercussions whether it's devolving into authoritarianism or incrementalism that millions of people will suffer under.
 

lizkat

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I have listened to excerpts from all those books mentioned in the first post. I just don’t know which one I’ll read first.

I'm going with Bender's book first and then the Leonnig and Rucker one (I liked their work in A Very Stable Genius). The Wolff one, I dunno. I'm sure it would be entertaining but I tend to take more of what he writes with a grain of salt pretty often. This from having read some of his stuff when he was media columnist at Vanity Fair.

I'm very curious about what it was really like behind the scenes of the Trump administration, and particularly in the later times, but I don't like the wonderment about sources that does come to mind when I'm reading Michael Wolff's work. It's possible I've unknowingly been influenced by other journalists' take on his stuff --some of which has been less than admiring-- or if it was from reading his earlier book Fire and Fury. The problem with that one imo was that the White House was then larded with both political novices AND at least a few very practiced liars... and it takes some thorough journalistic hoop-jumping to filter properly the input that was likely provided to Wolff. I'm afraid I think Wolff is going for the punchline-worthy quote a lot of the time and so the filtering might have been a little sketchy. Sigh... I'm still probably going to read his latest on the Trump admin though.
 

GermanSuplex

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How do reasonable grown men and women sit in a room with this moron - who was the president - and just stay silent and go with the flow, year after year? I remember I had a boss - far more intelligent and better spoken than Trump, mind you - who was also a pathological liar. I worked one shift with him before calling him out in his minor, harmless lies.

The Trump GQP is literally getting people killed, and each time they hit a new low, they go further down the abyss. They’re like an alcoholic who loses it all, then drinks some whiskey to not think about it. Only they’re happy dragging the rest of the country down with them. I’ve seen families not talk to each other over someone supporting/not supporting Trump.

We like to think we Americans are a sophisticated, advanced people, but when history looks back and sees all the chaos spurned on by a “reality” TV host - what will they think?
 

lizkat

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We like to think we Americans are a sophisticated, advanced people, but when history looks back and sees all the chaos spurned on by a “reality” TV host - what will they think?

One can hope we'll pull ourselves together again before our kids and grandkids truly normalize all this dimwittery and so history will be able to consider this an example of a relatively brief DimWit Age.
 

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One can hope we'll pull ourselves together again before our kids and grandkids truly normalize all this dimwittery and so history will be able to consider this an example of a relatively brief DimWit Age.
Your optimism that we’ll survive as a people to get to that stage. If I were in charge of the Doomsday clock I’d have it at 1 second to minute simply because MAD only works when you have sane rational people in control. When the lunatics come in we’re fucked. The only reason I never worried about Trump pressing the button was because a nuclear war would totally ruin any opportunity for him to steal money and play golf.
 

lizkat

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If I were in charge of the Doomsday clock I’d have it at 1 second to minute simply because MAD only works when you have sane rational people in control. When the lunatics come in we’re fucked.

Yah.... concerns about at least Pakistan abound these days. Especially with Pakistan-USA relationships having got so out of kilter, heading south especially after they took such offense at our having taken out Bin Laden without a heads-up. Up to that point, almost all the irritating things about Pakistan were worth our keeping on the back burner so long as in exchange for aid from us, we got to help them manage security of their own nukes. Who the heck knows how that will go from here on out, after we complete withdrawal of our military presence in Afghanistan.

"Who's in charge in Pakistan?" has tended to be more of a question as time goes on, and all because no one's sure any more of the extent to which either the secular or military leadership in Pakistan has been infiltrated by radicalized adherents of political Islam. Twenty years ago, there was more of a feeling that the Pakistani military was a reliable backstop to any turmoil in potential changes of secular government. Not so much any more, unfortunately.

The Pakistanis have made some compensatory overtures to China as relations with the USA have worsened. China cautiously amps up a relationship there, even while not wanting to be seen as playing to an overtly anti-American hand increasingly shown by Pakistan. After all, despite bumps in the China-US trading relationships over a lot of issues, our two economies are vastly intertwined.

Neither the US nor China would want to be seen as potentially at fault for having let a Pakistani nuke wander off, for example to possession by some wacko militant up in the northwestern border area with Afghanistan. The prospect would be just as bad for either country's reputation as launching one of their own nuclear weapons accidentally.

Pakistan is not really manageable in that respect anyway though. It has been an outlier in refusing to sign on to "no first strike" and is not a signatory to main pacts joined in by other members of the nuclear weapons owning countries, e.g. the nonproliferation treaty or the comprehensive test ban treaty.
 

MissNomer

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Yah.... concerns about at least Pakistan abound these days. Especially with Pakistan-USA relationships having got so out of kilter, heading south especially after they took such offense at our having taken out Bin Laden without a heads-up. Up to that point, almost all the irritating things about Pakistan were worth our keeping on the back burner so long as in exchange for aid from us, we got to help them manage security of their own nukes. Who the heck knows how that will go from here on out, after we complete withdrawal of our military presence in Afghanistan.

"Who's in charge in Pakistan?" has tended to be more of a question as time goes on, and all because no one's sure any more of the extent to which either the secular or military leadership in Pakistan has been infiltrated by radicalized adherents of political Islam. Twenty years ago, there was more of a feeling that the Pakistani military was a reliable backstop to any turmoil in potential changes of secular government. Not so much any more, unfortunately.

The Pakistanis have made some compensatory overtures to China as relations with the USA have worsened. China cautiously amps up a relationship there, even while not wanting to be seen as playing to an overtly anti-American hand increasingly shown by Pakistan. After all, despite bumps in the China-US trading relationships over a lot of issues, our two economies are vastly intertwined.

Neither the US nor China would want to be seen as potentially at fault for having let a Pakistani nuke wander off, for example to possession by some wacko militant up in the northwestern border area with Afghanistan. The prospect would be just as bad for either country's reputation as launching one of their own nuclear weapons accidentally.

Pakistan is not really manageable in that respect anyway though. It has been an outlier in refusing to sign on to "no first strike" and is not a signatory to main pacts joined in by other members of the nuclear weapons owning countries, e.g. the nonproliferation treaty or the comprehensive test ban treaty.
I’ve mainained for a while now that if nuclear war is to break out, it’ll be India and Pakistan who’ll do it.

Both nations hate each other beyond a vengeance and both have religion front and center of that hatred. I cannot think of a worst combination than Nuclear missiles and religion.

And, as we’ve seen in the past, it’s the bloody Brits who started this whole mess initially when we just walked out of the empire and left both countries to duke it out as to who owns Kashmir.
 

lizkat

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Until Modi came along I was more concerned about Pakistan. Now I still am, but I noticed the other day that when reading the FT, I tend to read the pieces about India first. Not sure what to make of that. Maybe the FT writes more about India!
 
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Thomas Veil

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I'm more concerned about climate change--specifically the four years we lost not doing anything about it, not to mention the decades we spent pretending it was a far-off problem, or not even real. Right now fires are spreading smoke coast to coast, which of course will only contribute to the problem. With forests burning down we are returning less oxygen to the planet. We already have "heat domes", droughts are becoming common, and global temperatures are rising faster than expected. I don't know about you, but I entertain thoughts that maybe it's too late to save this planet.
 
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