The episode was also inspired by a fascinating passage about Barack Obama in the book Game Change. So you’ll hear from Mark Halperin, one of the book’s authors, who will explain the dilemma that had Obama faking it. You’ll also hear from Kara Newman, a kosher-keeping food writer, who comes clean on her illicit love for bacon; and from a guy we call Brian, who maintains a series of mirages about his faith and family.
John Edwards took faking it to whole new levels.
Trump was basically running two sets of books to distort the amount that he owed the city.
- The auditors were physically blocked from accessing the books.
- A staggering amount of information was lost: 7 months out of 12 months of the data
- Trump offered the auditor’s brother a job.
- A city clerk mis-labeled the report
- Years later they reached an undisclosed settlement.
When a story’s actually wrong, you eviscerate it, exposing its erroneous assertions without ever breaking a sweat. When it’s a stink bomb at odds with your plotting, you set your jaw, redden your face and proclaim it “disgraceful,” never detailing precisely how.
.. On some level, he must realize that he’s in a no-win situation. Without Trump he’s nothing. With Trump he’s on a runaway train that he can’t steer or brake. If it doesn’t crash, Trump can scream down the tracks straight through 2020. If it does, Pence will be one of the casualties.
.. So why has Pence formed a political action committee, the only sitting vice president ever to do so? Why is he taking all these meetings, building all these bridges? I guess there could be some imaginable future in which Trump falls and Pence is left standing strong enough to soldier on. But mostly he’s in denial, and he’s living very dangerously.
.. The scenarios are myriad, and to prepare for them, Pence indeed needs an infrastructure and a network of his own. But there’s simply no way to assemble those without looking disloyal to Trump and courting the wrath of alt-right types who know how to go on a Twitter jihad.
- Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, whose unofficial 2020 campaign commenced even before Trump’s inauguration, can raise money, stage news conferences, take up residence on CNN and pick apart Trump’s proposals all he wants.
- Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska can style himself as a humble, homespun remedy to Trump’s cupidity and histrionics.
- Tom Cotton of Arkansas can take a calibrated approach, more hawkish than Trump on foreign policy but eager to link arms with him on immigration.
.. Pence, though, is squeezed tight into a corner of compulsory worship. And despite his behind-the-scenes machinations, he has done a masterful job of appearing perfectly content there.
.. In news photographs and video, you catch other politicians glancing at the president in obvious bafflement. Not Pence. Never Pence. He moons. He beams. It’s 50 shades of infatuation. Daniel Day-Lewis couldn’t muster a more mesmerizing performance, and it’s an unusually florid surrender of principles.
.. before he agreed to become Trump’s running mate, he blasted Trump’s proposed Muslim ban, tweeting that it was “offensive and unconstitutional,” and fiercely advocated free trade. I’m referring to Pence’s supposed morality.
He trumpets his conservative Christianity and avoids supping alone with any woman other than his wife, then turns around and steadfastly enables an avowed groper with a bulging record of profanely sexual comments.
.. No wonder he wants and expects a reward as lavish as the White House itself: He sold his soul. But I don’t think he studied the contract closely enough and thought the whole thing through.
“The president weighed in just as any father would, based on the limited information that he had,” said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, effectively confirming The Post’s report that President Trump personally drafted Donald Trump Jr.’s misleading statement about his meeting with a Russian lawyer proffering dirt on Hillary Clinton.
.. “As any father would.” Fathers are supposed to teach their children the difference between right and wrong. My father taught me not to lie. Donald Trump Jr.’s father taught him to shade the truth — in this case, so much that it was in total eclipse. “The statement that Don Jr. issued is true. There’s no inaccuracy in the statement,” Sanders said. No technical inaccuracy, perhaps, but little actual truth.
“Primarily’’ was the tell, the classic Trumpian hedge behind which Sanders so unconvincingly hid.
.. Fathers are supposed to put their children’s well-being above their own; that selflessness is the essence of being a parent. Trump Jr.’s attorney, Alan Futerfas, told The Post that he and his client had been “fully prepared and absolutely prepared to make a fulsome statement” about the meeting. Then the president intervened, dictating edits in the statement to his aide Hope Hicks, and gambling foolishly that the real facts wouldn’t emerge.
.. When, inevitably, they did, it made Trump Jr. look bad — “If it’s what you say, I love it,” he told the Russian attorney of her Clinton offer — but also provided evidence of some willingness on the part of the Trump campaign to collude with the Russians. Whose interest was the president so frantically scrambling to protecting here, his son’s or his own?