The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age
    Michael Maiello's picture

    Excerpts from Excerpts From Trump's Interview with the New York Times

    Just the "questions."

    • You’re O.K. with me recording, right?
    • You would have run completely differently.
    • What’s your expectation on Mueller? When do you —
    • But when do you think he’ll be done in regards to you —
    • But does that bother you?
    • Believe me. This is —
    • A very short period of time.
    • Dossier?
    • That’s true. But in terms of, the lawyers said it would be done by, your guys said, it would be done by Thanksgiving, it would be done by Christmas. What are they telling you now? What are they telling you?
    • But you’re not worked up about the timing?
    • You control the Justice Department. Should they reopen that email investigation?
    • He’s been very good to you.
    • So they had to do this to come after you, to undercut you?
    • Do you think Holder was more loyal to…
    • Tell me about what you were saying that the Democrats. … [Inaudible.] … Tell me about the Democrats on the tax bill, which you were telling me about. Explain that to me, I thought that was interesting.
    • He is a very nice guy.
    • It’s a big. … It’s a very popular place for you.
    • Do you think he should stop the recount? You know he said that they’re. … He was protesting the election today. Moore.
    • Was it a mistake?
    • Was it a mistake to endorse him?
    • He would have won big?
    • Tell me about that, yeah.
    • But they didn’t. … They didn’t …
    • What are you willing to do on infrastructure? How far are you willing to go? How much money?
    • But what’s the goal? What’s the goal?
    • And you think you can do it?
    • Yeah.
    • It sounds like you’re tacking to the center in a way you didn’t before.
    • So you’re not moving. You’re saying I’m more likely to do deals, but I’m not moving.
    • Do you think I’m wrong to think next year could be the year of you being a real deal maker, in a way you maybe weren’t in the past year?
    • Explain your North Korea tweet to me today.
    • What’s going on there. Tell me about that.
    • Can you finish your thought on North Korea. What’s going on with China?
    • But how recently?
    • What was the deal?
    • So what are you going to do?
    • Do you think we’ve been too soft on China on North Korea?
    • Yeah, yeah, it makes a lot of sense.
    • You still think there’s a diplomatic solution?
    • Why haven’t they stood up?
    • But why not?


    He had me at "Believe me."

    But while the interview was abysmal, I doubt that harder hitting questions would have extracted much else. Trump doesn't answer questions; he riffs off them. As such, all Trump interviews expose the same thing--incoherence, ignorance, ugliness, and lies.

    Yeah, well, this is his tactic.  I don't expect a Perry Mason moment during examination as he will always steer the conversation wherever he wants it to go.  But, I expect people to try.  Also, this is funny.

    Sigh. I remember when things were funny once.

    Who's to blame for that Michael? Look at you now, famous author hobnobbing with the upper crust in your waistcoat and tie sipping sherry and smoking your pipe. There was a time when you wore a flashy shirt with the low life jesters.

    Never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clowns as we did our tricks for him...

    Used to ride on his high horse wearing neon lapels like a diplomat...

    How does it feel? How does it feel? Sipping on his sherry drinking, thinking that he's got it made...

    A Napoleon in rags reversed - Versailles restored. Will the rest of media follow in 2018? Stay tuned as the Dag "L'empire" goes viral, intercontinental.

    in other words, you're calling him a cosmopolitan!

    From the Trump Interview:

    Trump: I know more about the big bills. … Than any president that’s ever been in office. Whether it’s health care and taxes. Especially taxes....I know the details of taxes better than anybody. Better than the greatest C.P.A. I know the details of health care better than most, better than most.

    "Trump knows taxes", and he knows who don't know taxes.

    Trump Adoration Rally, Nov. 29, 2017, St. Charles, Missouri, President Trump:

    Wednesday President Trump repeated his claim that the GOP's efforts to overhaul the nation's tax code will not benefit him personally, saying that his finances would actually take a hit under the proposal.

    "It’s going to cost me a fortune, this thing. Believe me," he said at a tax-reform speech in Missouri. "This is not good for me. Me, it’s not so — I have some very wealthy friends. Not so happy with me, but that’s okay."

    President Trump, Friday, December 22, Trump resort,  with "wealthy friends" at Mar-a-Lago:

    CBS NEWS December 23, 2017, 11:36 PM

    "You all just got a lot richer,” Trump tells friends, referencing tax overhaul

    President Trump kicked off his holiday weekend at Mar-a-Lago Friday night at a dinner where he told friends, "You all just got a lot richer," referencing the sweeping tax overhaul he signed into law hours earlier. Mr. Trump directed those comments to friends dining nearby at the exclusive club — including to two friends at a table near the president's who described the remark to CBS News — as he began his final days of his first year in office in what has become known as the "Winter White House." 

    The president has spent many weekends of his presidency so far at the "Winter White House," where initiation fees cost $200,000, annual dues cost $14,000, and some of the most affluent members of society have the opportunity to interact with the president ..

    The interview, count 'em, 23 Trump "collusions":

    Frankly there is absolutely no collusion…Virtually every Democrat has said there is no collusion. There is no collusion…I think it’s been proven that there is no collusion…I can only tell you that there is absolutely no collusion…There’s been no collusion…There was no collusion. None whatsoever…everybody knows that there was no collusion. I saw Dianne Feinstein the other day on television saying there is no collusion [note: not true]…The Republicans, in terms of the House committees, they come out, they’re so angry because there is no collusion…there was collusion on behalf of the Democrats. There was collusion with the Russians and the Democrats. A lot of collusion…There was tremendous collusion on behalf of the Russians and the Democrats. There was no collusion with respect to my campaign…But there is tremendous collusion with the Russians and with the Democratic Party…I watched Alan Dershowitz the other day, he said, No. 1, there is no collusion, No. 2, collusion is not a crime, but even if it was a crime, there was no collusion. And he said that very strongly. He said there was no collusion…There is no collusion, and even if there was, it’s not a crime. But there’s no collusion…when you look at all of the tremendous, ah, real problems [Democrats] had, not made-up problems like Russian collusion.

    It's like counting "fucks" in The Big Lebowski.

    Can't, I'm a nihilist.

    Esquire notes dementia as the main takeaway. (Charles Pierce also points out yhe Times interviewer did a hatchet job on Hillary that got censured by the ombudswoman, and the guy who set up the interview is basically Trump Central Casting but whatever). Palmer takes a lot of shit, but the idea of Trump's physical in 2 weeks clearing deck via the 25th Amendment is no longer wishful thinking - it makes a lot of GOP problems go away (optimistically maybe, but I bet President Pence could issue a lot of pardons to "don't look back, look forward" with brazen chutzpah). Republicans likely have the votes to ram this through over all objections. Okay, Kushner may go to jail, Sessions may be out, but these are Trump people, and they'll blame Alzheimers, not Trump's core criminality and their own part in the collusion. Probably the NY Times would like to see its own complicity in this mess wiped away - just a money machine at this point, no longer terribly interested in pushing journalism and vaunted standards. CNN was happy to rake in money - just didn't like being the butt of jokes and venom. Welcome 2018, when we all get to forget 2016/2017 happened, supposedly.

    I think Charles Pierce was right.  I still think Schmidt should have at least tried in his prizefight. You never know when you're Buster Douglas.

    I love Pierce's use of El Caudillo del Mar-A-Lago! Comes to mind such coinage is the work of a good op-ed writer or pundit and not a reporter unless they are with Fox News...And then I am reminded of the dementia type incidents in the summer rounded up by Jolly Roger in a post here where he appropriately for now titled it "Trump dogged by dementia charges, ducks any unscripted scrutiny" and notes that Of late, between a cascade of disorientation episodes cruelly video'ed by a vicious press Which is support for the Haberman argument of "let Trump be unscripted Trump so the public can see for themselves." But not support for the notable lack of tougher questions.

    What I really wanna know is when and where and why he stopped bringing up arguments about the size of the crowd at the inauguration; is there any rhyme or reason to making him drop a meme and move on to new ones, or is it just long-term memory loss?

    Ezra put a bar chart in that piece, of the drop in approval between Feb. and Nov. among different demographics, that I find interesting:

    Were you on this continent, I would fade a wager on his unavoidable need to postpone that exam. 


    I would even give odds.

    All Trump has to do to pass any exam is show he is smarter than the Clintonites and not as demented as the snowflakes with TDS. Both are easy tasks unless the examiners are also snoflakes with TDS.

    This is Trump sycophant doublespeak. When Trump fails a mental status exam or even has imaging studies consistent with a form of dementia, the claim will be that the medical professionals are anti-Trump. 

    I'm kind of loving the "I'm a very stable genius" thing. It's the 2010's version of "I am not a crook." The fact that you have to say it is the main problem. The fact that you aren't believed is the knockout. link

    Trump said that his inauguration crowd was larger than Obama’s It was clear that he thought that the statement was true. We had clear evidence that he was mentally unstable from day one.

    The so called Clintonites and snowflakes here out think you at every turn. It would be the same with Trump. But perhaps if you added a sig line to all your comments, "I'm a very stable genius," you'd get more respect like Trump did.

    Timezone's not the issue here - it's simply, I don't know all the possible variants on why he might submit or just fake the next exam. If it's a sudden ruling of Alzheimers dementia to get out of impending incarceration, that's one thing, but I don't know if he has the sense of self-preservation, or has another matter to grandstand, or ....?

    The man's too unpredictable except to note whatever he does, it'll be the most annoying variant.

    Maggie Haberman's explanation for her colleague and the approach on Twitter. Posting it not to make excuses for them, but rather, find it interesting that the general journalistic modus operandi here is intentional and, as a reader, as always, good to know where they are coming from. Makes any tea leaves easier to read.


    Hslf of Twitter thinks the Schmidt interview was revealing about the POTUS because it was his unfiltered thoughts. The other half is angry that @nytmike did not audition as an extra for the courtroom remake of "A Few Good Men" and interrupt him constantly.

    — Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) December 29, 2017


    Trump talking unfiltered has historically been vastly more revealing than jousting matches where he shuts down. The most revealing and significant things he's said in the last year were in these kinds of interviews.

    — Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) December 29, 2017


    It works to play dumb in an interview if you are talking to a highly advanced subject on a technical matter, because it encourages them to, say, explain quantum theory as they would to a child.  Sometimes, yes, when a subject has something to hide, it can work to create silences for them to fill, in the Errol Morris fashion.  But neither seem to be the case here.  Trump is not expert at anything but filling silences so if this was a conscious technique, it was the wrong choice. Looks more to me that the interviewer was flummoxed and the result was that Trump was able to transmit unchallenged propaganda.

    good points, well said = clearly you're a pro, even if I didn't know ya!

    It must be especially painful for [xxxx] to realize they are being traumatized and repeatedly beaten by a, past his prime, real estate mogul with oldtimers and other mental ailments. He destroyed their political machine in the election then moved quickly to dismantle Obama's globalist legacy and finally signed the largest tax reform in US history. The Supreme Court has reaffirmed his constitutional powers to act on national security and the economy is responding well to his small handed guidance. The [xxxx] will have to wonder what a more competent nemesis could have done to them as they were stripped of power and put out to pasture.  {[xxxx] marks the spot - PP}

    No, not especially painful. You win some , you lose some.

    Sooner or later the good guys  will have our turn to lose an election by 3 million votes but still get into the White House anyway. What goes around, comes around.



    The Koch funded GOP political machine is working better than ever, for the rich. Trump only cares about Trump, and the real estate LLC pass through tax cut will make him richer.

    His wage earner supporters and their kids will get the tab for trillions more in deficits. The smarter, less indoctrinated ones are beginning to comprehend the guy is the biggest con artist in history.

    Next GOP objective, the safety net, Medicare, Social Security....

    Quite the contrary. I'm relieved that Trump is losing so many battles, often losing without a fight. So far he's been too incompetent to push through much of his agenda and has given over most of his power to republican senators to only pass a traditional republican tax cut. Aside from some marginal regulatory changes Trump has accomplished nothing. I'm not complacent though. There is some possibility that he might get his act together and pass some truly bad laws or start a war with his belligerent stupidity. But so far his incompetence has stymied any progress on his agenda.

    FWIW I'm really  sorry to say I'm afraid you're wrong.

    IMO ,the regulatory changes are considerably  more than marginal. They and the effect of the judicial and cabinet appointments will take some while to bear fruit  -that;s Government. . Nor is Trump  stupid, if so his career would have collapsed long ago. Its'  fostering of inequality will have no electoral benefit for us. Americans  more than indifferent,  positively support inequality provided they get a  slice of the cake.

    While there'll be  the normal second- year opposition gain , the tax bill's crumbs  for the  lower middle class will  produce some offsetting  Republican switches.

    His psychological deficits are certainly frightening but-oddly and ironically- maybe Putin will protect him from himself. And us.Talk about a weak reed! 

    Provided we choose a candidate  with the ability and  smarts to campaign as a moderate I think we have a shot at it. If he/she then, I hope, does a 180 that could be the ticket to a second term.

    I forgot about the Russia election interference . So will the voters.



    Pathetic childish censorship PP and I'm sure you'll do the same to anyone who describes Trump supporters with a memorable moniker.

    You talking to me? Ya negavarim pa Russky, kapisch?

    Finally read the "Excerpts". 0 on Michael Flynn - unable to ask how come in Feb Flynn was such a great guy, and now he's a liar? Where's that question about half of Puerto Rico still without electricity? Even with Trump you can ask these questions in some fawning fashion to get him to speak. Who cares about whether he backed Roy Moore or Strange or Minnie Driver - it's over, that part's irrelevant and only Donald's ego. Ok, with Mueller we see he'll hold off as long as Mueller & the press "play fair", meaning "suck his cock". But how about a question noting disagreement on tax breaks actually not going to the poorest or just a pittance to the Middle Class?

    How about finding an engaging way to note that West Virginia's amazing growth was Q4 2016 & Q1 2017, i.e. 4 months under Obama & 2 months where Trump's policies (if you call them that) didn't have any chance of having an effect aside from the cheerleading & expected windfall, and that after gaining 3300 jobs last winter, W Va lost 4500 jobs this summer, and in the last 2 months they lost another 2000 jobs?

    Do the readers of the NY Times know this? do they know that "peak W Va coal employment" now means only 22,000 jobs after a recent spurt of 3300 from a trough of 18,700? Could the NY Times note that it's a state with only 1.4 million people, i.e. about half the size of Queens? In contrast to W Va coal, Apple has 123,000 employees; GE 295,000, Boeing 145,000, Merck 70,000, caterpillar 95,000, Procter & Gamble 95,000, General Motors 209,000, Intel 106,000, or here's the big list, where all of West Virginia's coal industry is 1/10th the size of the 25th largest US employer, and its 2016 coal revenue of $5 billion would tie that industry for 71st (with 6 companies) on Forbes top 225 company list.

    #1 Walmart 2,300,000
    #2 Amazon 541,900
    #3 Kroger 443,000
    #4 Yum! Brands 420,000
    #5 IBM 414,400
    #6 The Home Depot 406,000
    #7 McDonald's 375,000
    ​#8 Berkshire Hathaway 367,700
    ​#9 FedEx 335,767
    #10 United Parcel Service 335,520
    #11 Target Corporation 323,000
    #12 Walgreens Boots Alliance 300,000
    #13 General Electric 295,000
    #14 Albertsons 273,000
    #15 Wells Fargo 269,100
    #16 AT&T 268,540
    #17 PepsiCo 264,000
    #18 Cognizant Technology Solutions 260,200
    #19 Starbucks 254,000
    #20 Deloitte 244,400
    #21 J.P. Morgan Chase 243,355 
    #22 Lowe's 240,000 
    #23 TJX 235,000
    #24 Ernst & Young 231,000
    #25 UnitedHealth Group 230,000

    And no collusion? Here's Papadapoulos description of that collusion 1 1/2 years ago - how come London knew all about it then, but we're still debating the Steele Dossier 11 months after Buzzfeed revealed it (& 16 months after our Intelligence Community knew the Russians were trying to peddle dirt on Hillary).

    Where's the NY Times' responsibility to fight to get the truth out there, rather than going to cocktail sitdowns pretending they're interviews?

    Schmidt's side:

    During our conversation in July, I learned the challenges this president poses in interviews. He can jump from an issue like the Russia investigation to a policy matter before going off on a tangent about something like his golf game. If you try to interrupt him, he often continues talking. Given this, I employed a strategy in which I asked questions about the most pressing issues of his presidency and then allowed him to talk.

    Some readers criticized my approach, saying I should have asked more follow-up questions. I believed it was more important to continue to allow the president to speak and let people make their own judgments about his statements. It was the best way to learn as much as possible about the president’s mind-set and his views on issues like North Korea.

    But the story is worth reading more for the circumstances of the impromptu interview.

    Maybe a straight up Q&A was not the way to present this. 

    In homage to NYT journalist Alan Feuer, I give you another way to present this...


    I have no expectation

    I can only tell you that there is...absolutely

    N O
         C O L L U S I O N

    Everybody knows it
    And you know who knows it
    Better than anybody?

    The Democrats they walk around blinking
    at each other


    When do you think he’ll be done?
    In regards to you — I don’t know.


    Does that bother you?
    No, it doesn’t bother me because...

    I hope that he’s going to be fair
    I think that he’s going to be fair
    And based on that there’s been 

    N O
         C O L L U S I O N


    I think he’s going to be fair
    And if he’s fair
    because everybody knows

    the answer already, Michael
    I want you to treat me fairly


    A more simple-minded take:


    Donald Trump scares us more every day

    Foreign policy To him is just play.

    His words show confusion

    As he shouts, “No collusion!”

    Is that all he can think of to say?


    From November to now has has feuded

    With Dems as he rants “THEY colluded!”

    As he shows off his hair

    He says, “Mueller will be fair!”

     “Fake News won’t do me in!” He exuded.


    DJT watches FOX for a rest 

    ‘Cause they love to have him as a guest,

    There he always will pass any test.

    He has no need for concern

    Knowing that they’ll never burn..

    The absolute best of the best!


    edited for stuff

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