Ari knows a thing or two about rebranding a preventable, democracy shredding attack on DC on your watch as your whole fucking personality. https://t.co/42E6QSMs6e
— zeddy (@Zeddary) July 15, 2022
I know Olivia Nuzzi’s not popular with some of y’all, but she’s got an assassin’s eye for her subject’s weakest points. Know your enemy — from NYMag, a July 11 interview:
… It was a beautiful day in Bedminster, New Jersey, where the former president maintains a golf club and private estate to which he decamps when the Palm Beach humidity and the habits of snowbirds shut down Mar-a-Lago for the Mother’s Day–to–Labor Day summer season, and it had been a beautiful weekend, too, one he said affirmed the choice he had made about his own future, the future of the Republican Party, and — whether he wins this time or if he loses as sorely as before — the future of the American experiment.
At a rally in Alaska on Saturday, he told me by phone, his fans were adoring. “More love,” in his words, “than I’ve ever had before.” His voice was humming with excitement. He was still in awe. After all of this time, after so many rallies, so many crowds, so many winding speeches and chants of “Lock her up” and “USA” and “Build the wall” and the familiar sounds of “Tiny Dancer” and “Memory” (from Cats) and “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and “YMCA” and that goofy little dance and the delusion and the fervor so great that it built up to an attack on the Capitol and the democratic process at the center of the Republic itself, the novelty of this had not faded.
As a technical matter, the Anchorage event was on behalf of Sarah Palin and Kelly Tshibaka, Trump-endorsed candidates for the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, respectively, but like all such endeavors, it was for its star a means of discerning through a vibe check what traditional polls could not so reliably or completely tell him. And what it told him this time, he said, is that his voters — a portion of the electorate that he insists amounts to a majority of the country, though it does not — want to, and will, bring him back to power…
He wouldn’t disclose what he’d decided. Not at first. But then he couldn’t help himself. “I would say my big decision will be whether I go before or after,” he said. “You understand what that means?” His tone was conspiratorial. Was he referring to the midterm elections? He repeated after me: “Midterms.” Suddenly, he relaxed, as though my speaking the word had somehow set it free for discussion. “Do I go before or after? That will be my big decision,” he said.
He was thinking aloud now. “I just think that there are certain assets to before,” he said. “Let people know. I think a lot of people would not even run if I did that because, if you look at the polls, they don’t even register. Most of these people. And I think that you would actually have a backlash against them if they ran. People want me to run.”…
For weeks leading up to the Fourth of July, there were rumors about an announcement, but like so many things in Trumpworld, it was hard to know what was true and what was just chatter circulated by those around him looking to advance various personal agendas. Floating ideas in this way, watching them circulate through the political conversation, was a favorite tactic of Trump staffers and hangers-on during his campaigns and presidency. You could kill a bad idea this way, directing attention and input and debate so that soon it was no longer exciting to Trump, or you could plant your own idea, on the thinking that if he heard it enough, from enough people, it would soon manifest as the new plan to replace the total absence of one. Or because after a while the fake plan began to sound real and who could be sure it hadn’t been the real plan all along, or because Trump had convinced himself that the stroke of brilliance he kept hearing about was his?
“He really was 100 percent going to announce on the Fourth of July,” one person knowledgeable about the discussions said, “but the kids and Lindsey Graham and Kevin McCarthy were against it because he would be blamed for the midterms.” (The “kids” is a common but often incomplete term used by people with knowledge of Trump and his family, and here it does not refer to Donald Trump Jr., who, according to multiple people connected to the former president, was thought to be a supporter of the patriotic announcement date.) To me, Trump denied that he had considered it at all. As the producer of the iconic escalator ride in the atrium of Trump Tower to announce his 2016 campaign, he considered an Independence Day declaration amateurish. “I don’t think I have to compete with that,” he said. “First of all, a lot of people aren’t around on the Fourth of July. It’s not a great time to do an announcement … I never said I was going to. That was just fake news. Somebody said that I was going to,” he said. “I don’t think it was any of our people.”…
Abruptly, Trump changed the subject in the most Trumpian of ways. “Did you see Alaska, and did you see Las Vegas? I’ll tell ya, the enthusiasm and the crowds are bigger than they’ve ever been,” he said. “The enthusiasm is greater than it’s ever been.” It does not seem a wholly conscious choice when he does this but like a feature that activates when he is nervous or uncomfortable and zaps him, like magic, into command as The Donald again, which is maybe why he is unable to resist doing it even when doing it could only make things worse.
When I asked if the insurrection had embarrassed him, he disputed the premise that it was committed on his behalf. “They did it on their own behalf,” he said. He disputed, too, that the insurrectionists were armed. “I don’t think one person in the Capitol had a weapon, not one weapon,” he said. And he disputed my characterization of a swarm of MAGA hats charging the Capitol. “And other hats. And other hats. Not just MAGA hats. Other hats,” he said. “There were a lot of people there that a lot of other people don’t want to talk about, but they’re also one of the largest crowds I’ve ever spoken to, when I made the speech — peacefully, it should be known as peacefully and patriotically — but when I made the speech, it was one of the largest crowds I’ve ever spoken to.” He threw in a distinction between his crowd, which he said did not go to the Capitol, and the insurrectionists. “Nobody ever talks about that,” he said, but he didn’t want to talk about it much, either. He returned to the point of all of this: “I don’t think I’ve ever spoken in front of a larger crowd.”…
Trump swears that shielding himself from prosecution is not among his reasons for running for president because he is not at any risk of being prosecuted. “Well, I did nothing wrong, so I don’t see that,” he said, “I did absolutely nothing wrong. I had a perfect phone call in Georgia, so I’m not concerned with it.” He was also not concerned with inquiries by Tish James, he said, referring to her as “a racist attorney general in New York.”…
Just in via @NewYorkStateAG:
"In light of the passing of Ivana Trump yesterday, we received a request from counsel for Donald Trump and his children to adjourn all three depositions, which we have agreed to. This is a temporary delay […]" pic.twitter.com/c0AQRquo07
— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) July 15, 2022
He’s delusional, he’s dishonest, and he’s still dangerous (although probably not to his former wives)…
They should probably look in on Marla Maples ahead of Trump's rescheduled deposition next week.
— Derrick is PRO CHOICE? #BLM ???? ?????? (@Spawn_03) July 15, 2022
I have enjoyed the speculation about whether Trump is psychic due to hating stairs, though.
At least they're having fun with it.
— Anarcho-Felinist (he/him) (@Luarien) July 15, 2022