👑 Portrait of a President


(Matt Kiser) #41

Donald Trump has traded cheeseburgers for salads in the presidential diet – at least some of the time.

The president whose trademark campaign-trail dinner consisted of two McDonald’s Big Macs, two Filet-o-Fish sandwiches and a chocolate milkshake is cutting back on doctor’s orders to drop a few pounds, according to three people familiar with the matter.


(Matt Kiser) #42

In a private room in China’s Great Hall of the People in November, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sat with President Donald Trump and other U.S. officials as their hosts delivered plates of wilted Caesar salad.

Mr. Trump, in the midst of a five-country tour of Asia, grew concerned the untouched greens would offend the Chinese, according to people familiar with the matter. So he ordered Mr. Tillerson to start. “Rex,” he said, “eat the salad.”


(Matt Kiser) #43

(Lynn) #44

Well, gee…maybe this will hasten his morally-bankrupt authoritarian demise, who knows? He’s never been anything BUT a loose cannon who refuses to learn or value others & their knowledge. He’s an isolated old man who’s basically gotten away with this strategy all his life…we didn’t really think he’d change or mature now did we? WTF. We must never again allow such inappropriate, incompetent & untrustworthy scum into our White House.


(Matt Kiser) #45

An investor and defense contractor, Mr. Broidy became a top fund-raiser for Mr. Trump’s campaign when most elite Republican donors were keeping their distance, and Mr. Trump in turn overlooked the lingering whiff of scandal from Mr. Broidy’s 2009 guilty plea in a pension fund bribery case.

After Mr. Trump’s election, Mr. Broidy quickly capitalized, marketing his Trump connections to politicians and governments around the world, including some with unsavory records, according to interviews and documents obtained by The New York Times. Mr. Broidy suggested to clients and prospective customers of his Virginia-based defense contracting company, Circinus, that he could broker meetings with Mr. Trump, his administration and congressional allies.

Mr. Broidy was open about his business interests, but the administration made no effort to curtail his offers of access to clients or prospective clients.


(Matt Kiser) #46

Trump’s national security advisers spent months trying to convince him to sign off on a plan to supply new U.S. weapons to Ukraine to aid in the country’s fight against Russian-backed separatists, according to multiple senior administration officials.

Yet when the president finally authorized the major policy shift, he told his aides not to publicly tout his decision, officials said. Doing so, Trump argued, might agitate Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to the officials.

An argument the president’s national security advisers have found to be successful in trying to persuade Trump to adopt aggressive Russia policies is that Putin responds to strength and the way to achieve better relations is to be tougher on him, officials said.


(Matt Kiser) #47

In July, David J. Pecker, the chairman of the company that owns The National Enquirer, visited his old friend President Trump at the White House.

The tabloid publisher took along a special guest, Kacy Grine, a French businessman who advises one of Saudi Arabia’s richest men and sometimes acts as an intermediary between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Western businesses.

Mr. Pecker has long used his media empire to protect Mr. Trump’s image. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Mr. Pecker’s company, American Media Inc., suppressed the story of a former Playboy model who claimed to have had an affair with Mr. Trump.

The night of the dinner, Mr. Pecker got something from Mr. Trump: an unofficial seal of approval from the White House.

It was an opportune moment for Mr. Pecker to showcase his White House connections. He was considering expanding his media and events businesses into Saudi Arabia and also was hunting for moneyed partners in acquisitions.


(Matt Kiser) #48

The president is known for his after-hours cellphone calls and his late-night cable news habit, but several times a month, he invites New York real estate pals and businessmen, conservative leaders, prominent TV journalists, former campaign aides, and lawmakers to private dinners inside the White House residence — gatherings never made public on the official White House schedule.

Even as the president has withdrawn from the types of public events that were standard for his predecessors, he’s sustained the dinner party as a staple of presidential power — though he’s traded the high-wattage salons hosted by the Obamas for clubby interactions with people he considers peers, according to eight current and former administration officials and sources who have been to the meals.

The parties, which have recently ramped up, afford Trump the chance to do something he loves — play host — a role that runs contrary to the narrative of him isolated at night in the White House.


(Lynn) #49

Please pass the Big Macs? :smirk:


(nina) #50

“Often, he’ll say to guests: “Have you ever seen luxury like this?” as he guides them through, said the administration official.”

Luxe tours at the most enormous estate that the country has…huuuuuge. and T will get you what you need. Wow!


(Matt Kiser) #51

“The hell with it,” Trump said, recounting the scene with his aides to a West Virginia crowd last week. Trump tossed the staff-prepared remarks on tax cuts in the air and ducked as the paper fluttered to the floor. “I said, ‘This is boring, come on.’ Tell it like it is.”

One favored staff strategy: Guide the president to the right decision by making the conventional choice seem like the only realistic option. Except now, 14 months into his administration, Trump is on to them, and he’s making clear he won’t be boxed in.

But even before they could begin their pitch in that meeting Tuesday, Trump headed them off, saying he wanted to remove U.S. troops immediately. The ensuing heated argument put new distance between the president and his team and left the military with a mandate, if not a formal order, to remove U.S. troops from Syria within six months.


(nina) #52

The Prez responds to his duties at hand as if he alone has the right answer, and therefore no one should try to say or do otherwise. No input seems like it would be welcomed.

Always sung to the tune of “Don’t fence me in”

Confounding of course…now he is boxing himself in with his off the cuff decisions.

And now, The Syrian question looms large…and Bolton’s on board as well. Very discouraging.


(Lynn) #53

I think this thread should be called “Portrait of a FAKE President”… trump is not even remotely like any U.S. president we’ve ever seen.


(Matt Kiser) #54

that’s kind of the point :joy::rofl:


(Matt Kiser) #55

We’ll match their numbers,” Trump instructed, according to a senior administration official. “We’re not taking the lead. We’re matching.”

The next day, when the expulsions were announced publicly, Trump erupted, officials said. To his shock and dismay, France and Germany were each expelling only four Russian officials — far fewer than the 60 his administration had decided on.

The president, who seemed to believe that other individual countries would largely equal the United States, was furious that his administration was being portrayed in the media as taking by far the toughest stance on Russia.

The incident reflects a tension at the core of the Trump administration’s increasingly hard-nosed stance on Russia: The president instinctually opposes many of the punitive measures pushed by his Cabinet that have crippled his ability to forge a close relationship with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin.


(Matt Kiser) #56

This is the week we know, with increasing certainty, that we are entering the last phase of the Trump Presidency. This doesn’t feel like a prophecy; it feels like a simple statement of the apparent truth. I know dozens of reporters and other investigators who have studied Donald Trump and his business and political ties. Some have been skeptical of the idea that President Trump himself knowingly colluded with Russian officials. It seems not at all Trumpian to participate in a complex plan with a long-term, uncertain payoff. Collusion is an imprecise word, but it does seem close to certain that his son Donald, Jr., and several people who worked for him colluded with people close to the Kremlin; it is up to prosecutors and then the courts to figure out if this was illegal or merely deceitful. We may have a hard time finding out what President Trump himself knew and approved.


(nina) #57

A lot of great insights here @matt and it does feel like the end could be near, knowing that Cohen’s files could unlock the truth and reveal (old Watergate line of questioning). "What did the President know? And when did he know it?

I think this is also an apt description from the NYer piece.

“The narrative that will become widely understood is that Donald Trump did not sit atop a global empire. He was not an intuitive genius and tough guy who created billions of dollars of wealth through fearlessness. He had a small, sad global operation, mostly run by his two oldest children and Michael Cohen, a lousy lawyer who barely keeps up the pretenses of lawyering and who now faces an avalanche of charges, from taxicab-backed bank fraud to money laundering and campaign-finance violations.”

Trump wiil become more of a laughing stock (I hope) than he already had been to so many NYers who knew he was just all blast, exaggerator and buffoon. His children might be chastised but am not sure of their legal exposure. This article says they definitely have some knotty legal issues.

Clearly, when all is said and done, this emporer will have no clothes. I can not wait for his downfall and lets make sure to avert our eyes for his dismantling.


(Matt Kiser) #58

It’s a well-worn path: Someone in President Trump’s orbit gets in trouble, and the White House bends over backward trying to distance itself from that person — often in ways that strain credulity. Top aides suddenly become interlopers. Foreign policy advisers become “coffee boys.” The crucial months of the 2016 campaign are reduced to an insignificant period of time. We are assured that Trump doesn’t even really need aides.

Trump’s longtime personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen is the latest to be on the receiving end of this treatment. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders suggested Monday that Cohen was just another lawyer. “I believe they’ve still got some ongoing things, but the president has a large number of attorneys, as you know,” she said. Fellow White House spokesman Hogan Gidley repeated the talking point on CNN on Monday night, saying that Cohen was one of “many” Trump lawyers.


(Lynn) #59

I sure don’t see Cohen being a “chump for trump”…he may not be the hottest attorney but he can’t be that big of a fool? Not after watching others get labeled “coffee boy” etc.


(Matt Kiser) #60

Donald Trump’s wild weekend showed just how abnormal his presidency has become, even if his breaching of conventional decorum has lost the power to shock.

The President, ensconced at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, spent Saturday and Sunday on Twitter venting at the FBI director he fired, and torching both The New York Times and his own estranged attorney general. He poured praise on his lawyer Michael Cohen amid speculation he could flip on his top client after an FBI raid on his offices carried off some of the closest-held secrets of the Trump Organization and the President’s own past.

The President also lashed out at an unidentified “drunk/drugged up loser” as he fulminated about his legal situation and, out of nowhere, when most Americans were enjoying their Sunday afternoon, tweeted, “A total witch hunt!”

The weekend’s events were a snapshot of a frenzied social media presidency characterized by score settling and bitter attacks on enemies that would have been impossible to imagine before he won the White House.