Another frightening glimpse into the mindset of President Trump has emerged. The 13 minutes of audio (via Politico) comes from an impromptu speech that Trump gave at his Bedminster, NJ golf resort. Believe it or not, the golf course, which is owned by Trump, was actually the location for a good deal of the interviews he held for positions in his administration.
Not only does this practice lend itself to a number of questions about his conflicts of interest, but in the speech he seems to joke passively about mild corruption going on at the resort. It’s not even clear that he understands that what he’s doing is unacceptable. He seems more concerned with his own image.
When he’s introduced he stops and criticizes the emcee’s lack of exaggeration. “Mr. Trump would like to come in and …” the unidentified man says and then corrects himself: “President Elect Trump.” But that slight nod wasn’t enough for Trump who then spends the next half a minute applauding himself:
What a rotten introduction that was. First of all you never say that ‘I want to say,’ you say ‘I begged Mr. Trump to come down and say.” Instead he goes: ‘Mr. Trump would like to say a few words,’
He then turns it into a sort of joke. “He’s telling the truth,” Trump says but only after flattering himself at length. The crowd of his rich influential comrades laughs, applauds and even cheers. This is the sort of self assured bombast that they look for in a leader. They even cheer at the (again joking, hopefully) assertion that dictators will be visiting: “We’re doing a lot of interviews tomorrow: generals, dictators, we have everything.”
After this Trump gets into the part of the speech that really frightens people. He singles out one individual who’s clearly spent a lot of money golfing at Trump’s resort and suggests that in doing so he’s gained an opportunity to not only listen in as Trump forms his administration, but to influence the process:
Where’s Bob? Such a great guy. This guy used to be a shitty golfer. Come here Bob. Bring your family; bring your wife. The family’s better than he is. But we were talking about ‘who are we going to pick for the FCC,’ and who we’ll pick for this and for that. And I said ‘boy can you give me some recommendations. And he said ‘boy, I’d like to do that.’
It’s not that he seems to be saying that “Bob” has given him some advice. That would be fine. He seems to be saying “come, stay, have fun, spend money like Bob and maybe you’ll have an opportunity to influence my administration.” It sounds dangerously like a commercial for his resort. And that may be the most dangerous thing about Trump. Not his policies but the fact that his whole presidency is a sort of show; and for a few million anyone can be part of it.
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