I've been running around the last few days, so Ii haven't had much time to catch up in detail on all the news. As best I can tell, there is a lot of meltdown and angst around TrumpWorld and in the GOP. The most galling story, yet one which hasn't received much press attention, is that Trump's Inspector General has sent his findings -- that former acting FBI-director Andrew McCabe was "less than candid" with the FBI -- to the Department of Justice for possible criminal charges. From what little I've read, it seems unlikely that criminal charges will actually be filed. But -- 1) they could be, 2) what a chilling effect it must have on the entire department, and 3) what a fascist thing to do, try to undermine other voices of authority.
I also saw that Trump was dancing little jigs about the release of the FBI's Comey memos -- despite the reality that the memos pretty clearly support Comey and show Trump to be a pathetic sleazeball. All that without even getting into the fact that the memos should never have been released because they were evidence in an ongoing FBI investigation, but several top Republicans in the complicit House put on their fascist hats and were whining and bellowing for the documents.
And more, and more.
But what stood out to me among them all was, in most ways, a lesser story. But one that is utterly fascinating and especially telling about Trump. It was a long, detailed and very readable article in the Washington Post by Jonathan Greenberg. He is a reporter who back in the 1980s worked for Forbes magazine and was involved with putting together the initial "Forbes 400" lists of the wealthiest Americans. And the title of the article says it all -- "Trump lied to me about his wealth to get onto the Forbes 400. Here are the tapes."
What's so notable about the article is that many of the relentless specifics come from off-the-record conversations that Greenberg had, many with Trump himself posing under one of his pseudonyms of "John Barron," as well as conversations with Trump's lawyer and mentor, the disgraced Roy Cohn. However, Greenberg feels comfortable revealing this conversations because, as he writes -- "Although Trump, posing as Barron, asked Forbes to conduct the conversation off the record, I am publishing it here. I believe an intent to deceive — both with the made-up persona and the content of the call — released me from my good-faith pledge."
But the most notable thing about the article is, as the headline of the piece notes -- the tapes. Greenberg recorded many of the conversations with both Trump and Cohn, and has embedded them here. So, you can now hear Trump as "John Barron" clear as day, and lying through every orifice and body part. And it's blatantly Trump. Even from the distance of time, and him putting on a thicker New York accent, it's Trump. Clear as a glass window.
Even if you don't read the whole article, at least listen to the tapes. And in the end, what this article does is demonstrate -- in text and audio -- the beginnings of Trump's public flim-flam to try to con the American public about himself.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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