Professional Courtesy, Axios Style

Trump, summarized, and you can sing it!
(H/T: Scissorhead Skinny-D)

This is maybe the most damning thing I’ve ever read from Mike ‘Payola’ Allen writing at Axios morning email thingie:

There are definitely parts of Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury” that are wrong, sloppy, or betray off-the-record confidence. But there are two things he gets absolutely right, even in the eyes of White House officials who think some of the book’s scenes are fiction: his spot-on portrait of Trump as an emotionally erratic president, and the low opinion of him among some of those serving him.

Why it matters: Wolff captures the contempt some Trump aides have for the president and his family. Axios’ Jonathan Swan notes that this includes people you see trumpeting their loyalty to him.

So Wolff’s liberties with off-the-record comments — while ethically unacceptable to nearly all reporters — have the effect of exposing Washington’s insider jokes and secret languages, which normal Americans find perplexing and detestable.

In the past year, we have had many of the same conversations with the same sources Wolff used. We won’t betray them, or put on the record what was off. But, we can say that the following lines from the book ring unambiguously true:

How Trump processes (and resists) information:

“It was during Trump’s early intelligence briefings … that alarm signals first went off among his new campaign staff: he seemed to lack the ability to take in third-party information.”
“Or maybe he lacked the interest; whichever, he seemed almost phobic about having formal demands on his attention.”
“Trump didn’t read. He didn’t really even skim. … [H]e could read headlines and articles about himself, or at least headlines on articles about himself, and the gossip squibs on the New York Post’s Page Six.”
“Some … concluded that he didn’t read because he just didn’t have to, and that in fact this was one of his key attributes as a populist. He was postliterate — total television.”
“[H]e trusted his own expertise — no matter how paltry or irrelevant — more than anyone else’s. What’s more, he had an extremely short attention span, even when he thought you were worthy of attention.”
Instinct over expertise:
“The organization … needed a set of internal rationalizations that would allow it to trust a man who, while he knew little, was entirely confident of his own gut instincts and reflexive opinions, however frequently they might change.”
“Here was a key Trump White House rationale: expertise, that liberal virtue, was overrated.”


“[T]he president’s views of foreign policy and the world at large were among [his White House’s] most random, uninformed, and seemingly capricious aspects. His advisers didn’t know whether he was an isolationist or a militarist, or whether he could distinguish between the two.”
“He was enamored with generals and determined that people with military command experience take the lead in foreign policy, but he hated to be told what to do.”
“In the Trump White House, policy making … flowed up. It was a process of suggesting, in throw-it-against-the-wall style, what the president might want, and hoping he might then think that he had thought of this himself.”
Low regard by key aides:
“He spoke obliviously and happily, believing himself to be a perfect pitch raconteur and public performer, while everyone with him held their breath.
“If a wackadoo moment occurred on the occasions … when his remarks careened in no clear direction, his staff had to go into intense method-acting response. It took absolute discipline not to acknowledge what everyone could see.”
“At points on the day’s spectrum of adverse political developments, he could have moments of, almost everyone would admit, irrationality. When that happened, he was alone in his anger and not approachable by anyone.”
“His senior staff largely dealt with these dark hours by agreeing with him, no matter what he said.”

Be smart: More than half a dozen of the more skilled White House staff are contemplating imminent departures. Many leaving are quite fearful about the next chapter of the Trump presidency.

I’ll also add that it makes the Media’s incessant cosseting of Hair Führer even more infuriating: they knew all along. Dare I even say that they are co-conspirators? Oops, I guess I just did.

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8 Responses to Professional Courtesy, Axios Style

  1. moeman says:

    ‘Dare I even say that they are co-conspirators?’

    They are Comrade Stupid’s stupid comrades.


  2. Dare I even say that they are co-conspirators?

    Do I smell a whiff of…


  3. Retiredeng says:

    He scares the crap out of me.


  4. roket says:

    His fitness to serve appears to be gaining voice. A preznint brought down by a book. Go figure.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Redhand says:

    I love that “Joe and Mika” let slip that, during the campaign members of Trump’s entourage expressed to them deep concern about Trump’s mental health and stability. When Trump’s craziness was directed to Mika after Trump’s “her cut, bleeding face” claim, “Joe” bleated this info out and said something to the effect of “When were we supposed to reveal that we knew Trump was a nutjob?”

    I guess it never occurred to the stupid bastard that during the campaign was the correct answer, because after he got elected is a tad late.

    Thanks a lot, you clowns.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Bruce388 says:

      As some network jerk said, Trump is good for ratings. Trump used to call in to the sweethearts. They got the ratings, he got the free airtime.


  6. Osirisopto says:

    What I want to know is who’s going to get your fireded first, and who’s going to get your fireded best?


  7. AuroraS says:

    In the approximate words of Al Franken, “Asking if The Media has a conservative or liberal bias is like asking if al Qaida uses too much olive oil in their hummus. The problem with al Qaida is that they’re trying to kill us.” There are far more important biases to consider, most having something to do with “the profit motive”–such as Spectacle, Laziness, Cheap And Easy To Cover, Violence, etc. That was from his book, “Lies And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair And Balanced Look At The Right”. It was written around 2005 so it’s a bit dated, but it’s unbelievable how much still applies.

    The Media, particularly cable “news” and the Faux News personalities, have enabled the fuck out of the Republicans, who are very adept at mass manipulation. Trump, in turn, is very adept at media manipulation, and the entire thing has been one big circle jerk. The Dems underestimate how much politics is intertwined-with and driven-by marketing, and they just don’t have the media power that the GOP does. Trump made them money; HRC was their favorite “bad guy”. Of course they all enabled him.

    Liked by 1 person

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