When the US Capitol was being overrun by rioters who believed Donald Trump's lies about the election being stolen from him, the Great Man himself was largely unavailable to talk to anyone telling him he needed to do something. For one thing, he'd already done something by sending the mob off to storm the Capitol. For another, he was having far too much fun watching the riots unfold on TV, because look at all those Great Americans taking back America from its duly elected lawmakers! The Washington Post offers an inside view of the White House during the coup attempt that should be disturbing, except that it tracks so well with what we all know about Donald Trump by now. Which is to say, it's the expected tire fire in a garbage dump, overseen by a superannuated toddler who still has access to the nuclear codes.

One anonymous "close Trump adviser" explained that President Chauncey Gardiner couldn't be bothered to take calls from frantic Republican lawmakers hiding from the insurgents, because "Apprentice: Insurrection" was on:

He was hard to reach, and you know why? Because it was live TV. [...] If it's TiVo, he just hits pause and takes the calls. If it's live TV, he watches it, and he was just watching it all unfold.

So pretty much everything the Right claimed about Barack Obama's supposed indifference to Benghazi came true with Trump, except for the cocaine orgy rumor, because Adderall is more Trump's speed.


Not even Trump's good friend Lindsey Graham (in Lindsey Graham's mind, at least) was able to get Trump on the phone; instead, he called Ivanka, who was in the White House during the crisis but couldn't get her father to talk to her. This was especially galling, since not getting her father's attention is Tiffany's job. Graham made excuses for the Great Man, whose mind operates on a level we lower life forms may not understand, man.

"It took him awhile to appreciate the gravity of the situation," Graham said in an interview. "The president saw these people as allies in his journey and sympathetic to the idea that the election was stolen."

We shoulda been a pair of ragged claws, you know? You don't talk to Donald Trump, you listen, man.

Along similar lines, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who'd been spirited away somewhere safe, didn't have any luck getting Trump's attention, not even when someone put Col. Trump on the phone. Trump seemed "distracted," he later told a source for the WaPo story, so instead McCarthy decided to go where he'd be in Trump's field of vision:

McCarthy repeatedly appeared on television to describe the mayhem, an adviser said, in an effort to explain just how dire the situation was.

Later, McCarthy also tried to get in touch with Trump through Jared Kushner, who had just returned from a trip to the Middle East (we'll assume he was looking for tips on disappearing inconvenient political enemies). The Post doesn't actually say whether Kushner actually offered any suggestions to Trump, apart from, we'll also assume, suggesting Congress could be evicted for not cleaning up the mess Trump's supporters made.

White House press people started asking for Trump to please make a statement calling off his mutts almost as soon as the Capitol was breached, but nothing doing — those requests went no farther than Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. But shortly after the invasion, Trump did offer his own Tweet damning Mike Pence for not stealing the election like he should have. That should count as a "statement."

Trump's idiot son Don Jr., who had urged supporters to go to the Capitol and "fight" to subvert democracy, tweeted a call for the rioters to settle down and not be like dangerous violent Democrats, but

the president himself was busy enjoying the spectacle. Trump watched with interest, buoyed to see that his supporters were fighting so hard on his behalf, one close adviser said.

Well of course he did! It was far more interesting than most of the boring crap presidents have to do, and those people seemed to really get him, unlike the aides calling on him to tell the rioters to simmer down.

As for Mike Pence, he stayed hidden in an undisclosed location on the Capitol grounds, trying to get the National Guard mobilized and "offering reassurance" to freaked out GOP lawmakers. Not that Trump would have been all that interested in any of it, because Pence had betrayed him by following the law.

Even as his supporters at the Capitol chanted for Pence to be hanged, Trump never called the vice president to check on him or his family. Marc Short, Pence's chief of staff, eventually called the White House to let them know that Pence and his team were okay, after receiving no outreach from the president or anyone else in the White House.

Gosh, how sad for Pence, who knew Trump was a scorpion when he let Trump climb on his back.

Eventually some of the staffers convinced him maybe people might get killed, so Trump tweeted maybe the rioters should at least show some respect for cops while they look for lawmakers to hang:

"Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement," he wrote. "They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!

The Post adds that one insider says Trump really didn't want to include the "stay peaceful" part, which sounds entirely true. Eventually, Trump was persuaded to sound just a tiny bit more firm, telling supporters,

I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order — respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!

And then he made that weirdass video telling the insurgents to go home, because he loves them very much and thank you for your service to America by trying to overthrow it, and the election sure was fraudulent, wasn't it? WaPo notes that the version that went out on Twitter was actually the "most palatable" of three takes, which makes us hope the House is able to subpoena the other two for the historical and "holy shit!" record.

Was Trump done for the day? Hell nah! He still needed to get himself banned from Twitter while police were still clearing out the Capitol, tweeting a very presidential message while he demolished a Corvette with a crowbar. (That is a joke, joke police.)

These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so ­unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!

What an inspirational message, because didn't you see he said love and peace? WaPo notes that many Trump insiders were "particularly furious" about that stuff, because they don't understand that when a fire is almost out, you need to throw some gasoline on it so people still love you.

We also learn that, after Trump released another video Thursday saying that a "new administration" would be sworn in, no names mentioned, Trump "grew angry" with media coverage of it, because after all, he will remain That Guy to the end:

The president said he wished he hadn't done it, a senior White House official said, because he feared that the calming words made him look weak.

Fortunately, Trump quickly reversed that perception by telling the press this morning that he never incited nothing, and the only people stirring up trouble are the people who want to impeach him a second time.

[WaPo]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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