Maggie Haberman Book Exclusive: Trump Was Telling You He Is Not Going
New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman’s new book about Donald Trump, aptly named Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America, is set to drop on October 4, and she’s treating us to advance previews of content that might’ve been nice to know much earlier, like how Trump knew he was a big dumb loser but decided to steal the election anyway. Probably should’ve led with the treason instead of the toilet-clogging.
Haberman claims that Trump initially responded like a normal person after Joe Biden delivered his ass whooping. He asked advisers what had gone wrong. He even comforted an aide and assured them “we did our best.” He told junior press aides that “I thought we had it,” Haberman writes. Biden was consistently ahead in polls but whatever.
This seems completely out of character for Trump, especially the part where he comforts another human being who is not literally himself. He’d planted the seeds for the Big Lie before a single vote was cast. Still, Haberman went to all the trouble to write this down and everything, so let’s assume it’s true.
Haberman describes an abrupt shift in Trump’s “mood” when he decided he’d remain in office forever.
"I'm just not going to leave," Trump told one aide, according to Haberman.
"We're never leaving," Trump told another. "How can you leave when you won an election?”
These aides — Haberman’s sources — are eye witnesses to Trump’s stated intent to commit a major crime.
Trump reportedly later whined to Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel, "Why should I leave if they stole it from me?” McDaniel should also inform the House January 6 Select Committee under oath how she responded to Trump’s delusions. Did she explain that there was zero proof of voter fraud and objectively more Americans voted for Biden than his sorry ass? Or did she passively watch him undermine public faith in our elections while attempting to overturn the lawful results?
It takes at least two people to commit a conspiracy to defraud the US and Trump wouldn't shut up about his coup.
Trump's vow that he would refuse to vacate the White House had no historical precedent, Haberman writes, and his declaration left aides uncertain as to what he might do next. The closest parallel might have been Mary Todd Lincoln, who stayed in the White House for nearly a month after her husband, President Abraham Lincoln, was assassinated, the author noted.
No, Maggie Haberman, a grieving widow with a history of mental illness coping with a traumatic loss is not a “close parallel” to the actual president refusing to concede the election he lost and plotting a coup. What’s wrong with you?
I'm sick of journalists like Haberman suggesting Trump's aides and Cabinet were helpless while Trump had a tantrum. The 25th Amendment exists. Republicans enabled Trump and refused to publicly reject his lies. After a certain point, they are all willing conspirators.
Oh, this paragraph from CNN writer Jeremy Herb is hilarious:
A longtime New York-based reporter who has worked for both of the city's tabloid newspapers, Haberman writes that Trump's post-election period was reminiscent of his attempts to claw his way back from dire financial straits three decades earlier, in which he tried to keep all options open for as long as he could.
Herb consistently pumps up Haberman's credentials, seemingly in the interest of transparency. Earlier, he wrote, "Haberman, a CNN political analyst, has covered Trump for the New York Times since his 2016 presidential campaign. Her stories made her a frequent target of Trump's vitriol on Twitter." Yeah, she's a real Super Journalist.
Haberman implies that Trump's attempt to end American democracy is some underdog comeback story. That's appalling. Besides, Trump is a con artist who bankrupted his casinos while still pocketing millions.
Confidence Man seems like its own con job. Haberman writes that Trump "struggled" with what path to take after the election loss, as if he faced a legitimate dilemma. He lost. He didn't have to go back to Mar-a-Lago but he couldn't stay at the White House. Trump apparently asked anyone within shouting distance which options would lead to another term. This includes the guy who brought Trump his Diet Cokes.
One of the more pathetic revelations is that supposed "senior adviser" Jared Kushner wouldn't confront his father-in-law directly. He reportedly asked some aides to brief Trump about his loss but wouldn't go with them because it was too much like a "death bed scene."
"The priest comes later," said the self-important coward.
In a just world, all these assholes would be in prison and Haberman's book would debut in the bargain bin.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."