They’re imitators. They’re operators. And they’re turning their teacher’s lessons against him.The problem with being Donald Trump isn’t just being Donald Trump. It’s all the other, lesser Trumps around you. It’s the versions of yourself that you create, the echoes of yourself that you inspire. They’ll devour you in the end... From the master she learned how to draw and hold the spotlight: Mete out revelations. Hurl accusations. Contradict yourself. Leave everyone gasping, gawking and coming back for more... “Trump and Omarosa Are Kindred Spirits” reads the headline on a new Bloomberg column by Tim O’Brien.. The president, he notes, was “fascinated by her self-absorption and nastiness.” Trump stares into every mirror he passes.
“She may be the purest of all the Trump characters,” an unnamed former Trump administration official told Axios’s Jonathan Swan. “She may be the most Trumpian.” No maybe about it.
She made secret tapes, just like Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer. No one should be surprised, least of all Trump. When you grease the walls of your sanctum with lies and put fun-house mirrors everywhere, is it any wonder that the dazed people inside try to protect themselves with a lifeline like proof?
And didn’t Trump himself record people who called him at Trump Tower and later taunt James Comey by suggesting that he had audio of their conversations? Imitation isn’t just the sincerest form of flattery. It’s the cleverest kind of revenge.
Ask Michael Avenatti, Stormy Daniels’s lawyer. He’s flirting with a presidential bid or at least realizing that such a flirtation is a brand multiplier. Last week he visited Iowa, and not for the soybeans. He made a big speech. Said that when they go low, he’ll go subterranean. He’ll tunnel. He’ll spelunk.
He’s not just Trump’s adversary. He’s Trump’s analogue, with a similar timbre and bag of tricks. Like Trump, he vents his scorn in crude put-downs. Like Trump, he views media ubiquity as a credential in its own right... Avenatti was “a perfect foil for Trump, because he actually sees the world just like Trump does.”.. In a way, Cohen sort of is Trump, too, with shady ties, bendy rules and limber ethics. His exposure is now Trump’s vulnerability. There’s actually a scene in Manigault Newman’s book where she and Cohen watch Trump eat a piece of paper rather than leave it around for presidential record-keepers... Manafort faked an altitude of affluence that he no longer possessed, forgoing any salary as Trump’s campaign chairman, because he suspected that this would impress Trump, who has exaggerated his own wealth.
- His hunger for attention became Rudy Giuliani; his
- thirst for pomp, Scott Pruitt; his
- taste for provocation, Avenatti; his t
- alent for duplicity, Manigault Newman.They’re an army of emulators, adding up to Trump. And they’re on the march.