Sakset/Fra hofta

9. januar slippes Michael Wolffs Fire and Fury. Inside the Trump White House. Utdrag står i New York Magazine og ble øyeblikkelig samtaleemne, slik alt om Trump blir.

Forteller utdraget noe nytt? I en redaksjonell hale heter det at Wolff fikk tilgang uten sidestykke. Han var fluen på veggen og kunne komme og gå som han ville. Hvordan betalte han for denne velvilligheten?

Shortly after Trump’s inauguration, Wolff says, he was able to take up “something like a semi-permanent seat on a couch in the West Wing” — an idea encouraged by the president himself. Because no one was in a position to either officially approve or formally deny such access, Wolff became “more a constant interloper than an invited guest.” There were no ground rules placed on his access, and he was required to make no promises about how he would report on what he witnessed.

Artikkelen heter: Donald Trump Didn’t Want to Be President. Wolff vil ha oss til å tro at Trump og hans team var overbevist om at de kom til å tape. Hva mer er: At de kalkulerte og satset på å tape. De skulle høste glory and honour og fame.

Står dette til troende? Rimer dette med at Trump la inn et ekstra gear i sluttfasen og besøkte rust-belt-statene som sikret ham seieren? Wisconsin, Michigan og Pennsylvania.

Men det får Trump til å høres ut som en selvopptatt idiot, og det er slik Wolff fremstiller ham. Det er nok et kapittel i Trump-bashing-sagaen.

Shortly after 8 p.m. on Election Night, when the unexpected trend — Trump might actually win — seemed confirmed, Don Jr. told a friend that his father, or DJT, as he calls him, looked as if he had seen a ghost. Melania was in tears—and not of joy.

There was, in the space of little more than an hour, in Steve Bannon’s not unamused observation, a befuddled Trump morphing into a disbelieving Trump and then into a horrified Trump. But still to come was the final transformation: Suddenly, Donald Trump became a man who believed that he deserved to be, and was wholly capable of being, the president of the United States.

Alle vi som fulgte valgkampen og valgmøtene som var helt spesielle, selv liberale medier måtte innrømme det, så noe helt utenom det vanlige: Kilometerlange køer, timer før møtene skulle begynne. Trump hadde en helt egen kommunikasjon med velgerne. Skulle det bare vært bløff?

De som så ham valgnatten så ingen forbløffelse. De så en mann som var sikker på sin egen stjerne.

Wolff fremstiller Trump som en ignoramus, en som ikke kan noe, som knapt leser.


Few people who knew Trump had illusions about him. That was his appeal: He was what he was. Twinkle in his eye, larceny in his soul. Everybody in his rich-guy social circle knew about his wide-ranging ignorance. Early in the campaign, Sam Nunberg was sent to explain the Constitution to the candidate. “I got as far as the Fourth Amendment,” Nunberg recalled, “before his finger is pulling down on his lip and his eyes are rolling back in his head.” (…)

Trump laller som om han er presenil, skal vi tro Wolff.

“Here’s the deal,” a close Trump associate told Priebus. “In an hour meeting with him, you’re going to hear 54 minutes of stories, and they’re going to be the same stories over and over again. So you have to have one point to make, and you pepper it in whenever you can.” (….)

Han høres ut som en stor baby som har flyttet inn i et hus han sviner til.

Trump, in fact, found the White House to be vexing and even a little scary. He retreated to his own bedroom — the first time since the Kennedy White House that a presidential couple had maintained separate rooms. In the first days, he ordered two television screens in addition to the one already there, and a lock on the door, precipitating a brief standoff with the Secret Service, who insisted they have access to the room. He ­reprimanded the housekeeping staff for picking up his shirt from the floor: “If my shirt is on the floor, it’s because I want it on the floor.” Then he imposed a set of new rules: Nobody touch anything, especially not his toothbrush. (He had a longtime fear of being poisoned, one reason why he liked to eat at McDonald’s — nobody knew he was coming and the food was safely premade.) Also, he would let housekeeping know when he wanted his sheets done, and he would strip his own bed.

If he was not having his 6:30 dinner with Steve Bannon, then, more to his liking, he was in bed by that time with a cheeseburger, watching his three screens and making phone calls — the phone was his true contact point with the world — to a small group of friends, who charted his rising and falling levels of agitation through the evening and then compared notes with one another. (…)

I seng kl 1830 med cheeseburger, tre tv’er og telefon, dette er elitens foraktfulle bilde av Trump. De lever av og på det.

Here, arguably, was the central issue of the Trump presidency, informing every aspect of Trumpian policy and leadership: He didn’t process information in any conventional sense. He didn’t read. He didn’t really even skim. Some believed that for all practical purposes he was no more than semi-­literate. He trusted his own expertise ­— no matter how paltry or irrelevant — more than anyone else’s. He was often confident, but he was just as often paralyzed, less a savant than a figure of sputtering and dangerous insecurities, whose instinctive response was to lash out and behave as if his gut, however confused, was in fact in some clear and forceful way telling him what to do. It was, said Walsh, “like trying to figure out what a child wants.”

Man kan forstå at eliten som holder seg selv med et slikt bilde av presidenten er villig til å gjøre hva som helst for å bli kvitt ham: riksrettssak eller attentat. Det er ikke for moro skyld at den ene kunstneren etter den andre har lekt med tanken om å kopiere Wilkes Booth som skjøt Abe Lincoln under en teaterforestilling.

Trump har fått frem noe hos liberale som de har holdt godt skjult. Som de kanskje ikke var klar over selv en gang.

De aner at de står overfor en fiende som de ikke kommer til å overleve. Intensiteten i angrepene, karikaturen – hvis man tror på det bildet som tegnes lever man i et annet Amerika. Det er hva det er: To Amerika’er og de snakker ikke lenger sammen.

De liberale liker å tro at Trump ikke er populær. Selv det er løgn. I romjulen tangerte Trump Obamas popularitet. Etter en bumpy start har han fått maskineriet til å fungere og ligger an til flere seire: Børsen var opp 25 prosent, 5.000 poeng. Det har aldri skjedd før. Og dette skal være den verste presidenten noensinne?

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