Operation Sketchbook: (The Trump/Nixon Tapes Part 7)

trump courtroom sketch

[What follows is a transcript of President Donald Trump speaking into the Oval Office recording device originally used by President Richard Nixon. This series of recordings encompass the president’s communication to his inner circle.]

To: The Trump Circle of Trust (TCT)

cc: Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Majority Leader Mitch McConell

As all of you should know by now, I don’t watch CNN anymore. I think I made that clear to the AP when they were here this week. Where is it? Here: (sound of second tape recorder button clicking)

TRUMP: OK. The one thing I’ve learned to do that I never thought I had the ability to do. I don’t watch CNN anymore.

AP: You just said you did.

TRUMP: No. No, I, if I’m passing it, what did I just say (inaudible)?

AP: You just said —

TRUMP: Where? Where?

AP: Two minutes ago.

TRUMP: No, they treat me so badly. No, I just said that. No, I, what’d I say, I stopped watching them. But I don’t watch CNN anymore. I don’t watch MSNBC. I don’t watch it.

(recording ends)

So I was passing by CNN and noticed Sean was looking less fat. I was thinking that maybe we could put him back on camera, but then Steve pointed out that it was just a drawing by a CNN sketch artist. It was such a beautiful drawing I couldn’t get over it. So I got my own courtroom sketch artist. I like how honest he is about my hairline and number of chins. I’m thinking we just use this guy from now on: Operation Sketchbook. We can get him to draw me standing behind the podium and we’ll blow it up and stand it up there. The dishonest media can shout questions at it then go write their fake news.

Speaking of “fake news,” what about my big reveal on the Comey tapes? Pretty fantastic, right? Sean Hannity loved it. Wait. I’ve got that (button press)

SEAN HANNITY (HOST): I’m sorry, this was one of the most brilliant, strategic, doubt-inducing, mind-messing tweets in the history of mankind, because he basically said to Comey, “Well, if there’s tapes, you’re in trouble with the deep state,” it was also a nice shot at them. 

Ha ha ha. Oh and Fox and Friends thought it was pretty brilliant, too. I mean everybody is saying what a great Tweet it was. (click)

AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): Big news today. You said you didn’t tape [former FBI Director] James Comey. Do you want to explain that? Why did you want him to believe you possibly did that? 

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Well I didn’t tape him. You never know what’s happening when you see that the Obama administration, and perhaps longer than that, was doing all of this unmasking and surveillance. And you read all about it and I’ve been reading about it for the last couple of months about the seriousness and horrible situation with surveillance all over the place. And you’ve been hearing the word “unmasking,” a word you probably never heard before. So you never know what’s out there, but I didn’t tape and I don’t have any tape and I didn’t tape. But, when he found out that there may be tapes out there, whether it’s governmental tapes or anything else, and who knows, I think his story may have changed. I mean, you’ll have to take a look at that because then he has to tell what actually took place at the events. And my story didn’t change. My story was always a straight story. My story was always the truth. But you’ll have to determine for yourself whether or not his story changed. But, I did not tape. 

EARHARDT: That was a smart way to make sure he stayed honest in those hearings. 

TRUMP: Well, it wasn’t very stupid, I can tell you that. He did admit that what I said was right. And if you look further back, before he heard about that, I think maybe he wasn’t admitting that, so, you’ll have to do a little investigative reporting to determine that. But, I don’t think it’ll be that hard.

See? The honesty is really striking, right? Why can’t they get that over at CNN? It’s a disaster over there. What did I ever do to Jake Tapper? I mean who cares, right? I never said I had tapes. I just waited for 41 days to say I didn’t have tapes. I’m busy. I got a lot of things on my plate. Sheila? What’s for lunch? No. I want one of those shark steak sandwiches like Jeff Bridges got in that movie where he was president. Oh, who am I kidding? I’m not going to eat that. Get me a QPC from McDonald’s. Extra ketchup.

Okay. So what was I talking about? Sheila? Sheila? She’s gone already? Man, she moves fast. She’s a go-getter, Sheila. I mean she’s really going and getting, right? That’s the way it works.

You know, the more I look at that sketch of me, the more I like it this Operation Sketchbook. We should all just not appear on camera anymore. Jared gets the idea. He’s off solving the Middle East thing and nobody even knows what he sounds like because he can keep his mouth shut. Jared, you’ll have to tell me how you managed to talk a journalist from the AP into deleting photos of you from his camera. That must have been some talk.

Whoever is covering Jared’s muffin basket duty while he’s bringing an end to a centuries-old conflict this weekend should send Jared a muffin basket. Wait. Never mind. He’s done.

Will somebody bring me something else to sign? What is taking so long with that health care bill? Are the Democrats being obstructionists again? Just pass something so I can sign it and tell everybody how great your “mean son of a bitch” bill is.  Mitch, you fixed all that right? You told me to leave it to you and I said “Happy to do it” because one less thing for me to do, right? But you fixed it, right? I’m sure it’s okay. Here’s an idea! Must credit Trump!

Send it over, I’ll sign it before you vote on it. What about that, huh? Is that a great idea or what? I sign the bill before you bring it to a vote and you can say, “Look, it’s a done deal. The president has already signed it, so you need to get on the right side of this thing or you’re going to be left behind.” I think that would be beautiful. Can you imagine the look on Chuck Schumer’s face? [laughter]

But seriously, send me some legislation to sign. It is the best part of this job, showing off for the cameras and . . . hmmm. That’s . . . that’s tough . . . Guys, I’m not sure Operation Sketchbook is going to work out. Let me think about it. I’ll let you know something in two weeks.

I’ve been hitting the Russia thing pretty hard on Twitter. You know, I had no idea when I took this job that so many people would turn on you so quickly. I was just saying to Nixon’s ghost the other night. Nixon’s ghost is a good friend of mine, let me tell you. He’s the one who told me to tweet about the Comey tapes. “Keeps everybody honest,” he said. Ole Honest Nixon, they used to call him. Good times.

Anyway, I was telling Nixon’s ghost, “Look, it is nobody’s business who I call or when I call them or what we talk about when I call. Don’t give me “Presidential Records Act” this or “You can’t block people on Twitter” that.” The president deserves a little privacy to yell at his lawyers. Nixon’s ghost agreed with me, except for the Twitter part. He died in 1994. He doesn’t know what Twitter is. But I believe 90 percent of the ghost presidents living in the White House would agree with me. If not 95 percent.

So I don’t want to read in the paper about me making my morning calls to my lawyers to get all my Russia yelling out early in the day. That’s my “me time.” The dishonest media shouldn’t be writing about that, I don’t care if it is true.

So I’ve pivoted on the Russia thing, now that I’ve figured out how to blame it on Obama. I don’t know if you noticed because it was such a subtle shift in tone:


Amazing, right? It was such a subtle pivot that no one is going to notice my tacit admission that Putin stuck his thumb on the scale. Well, Sheila noticed, but she’s a real go-getter. I wonder when she’s going to be a come-bringer-er soon? I’m starving here.

So I’m thinking about firing Mueller. I know firing Comey didn’t work out exactly as Jared said it would. But this time I don’t have to be the one firing him. I can order Rosenstein to do it. Or whoever’s next in line if Rosenstein isn’t loyal. Have we fixed that yet? Find me a Bork and let’s get this Saturday Night Massacre on the road!

Mueller can’t investigate me if he’s best friends with Comey! He can’t use lawyers who have donated to Democrats! He can’t keep expanding his investigation to include money laundering and racketeering. I didn’t sign off on that and you guys know me, I’ll sign anything. He’s going after my general, my campaign manager, my consigliere, my Jared and now me? Putin told me I don’t have to put up with it. He said if it were him, he’d be making a pot of polonium tea for Mueller. That’s not really my style. Maybe some polonium Diet Coke? I’ll ask ghost Nixon. He knows how to handle these special prosecutors.



Trump’s Speech: A Noun, A Verb, and A Lie.


1448345588275-cachedI’m that annoying friend on Facebook who posts a lot of political content. Everyone has one. Most of them get blocked or hidden and that’s fine. I also jump on political threads that my friends post, ready to argue the nuances of the political discussion of the day. I don’t post photos of my dinner. Rarely post about my cats. The only sports team I follow has a two-month season in early Summer. No prayer requests. No vaguebooking about issues at work. No complaining about my family or friends. If that’s your bag, then more power to you. I’m a different breed of cat.

A couple of weeks ago, I got the idea to challenge my friends to get me to shut up about President Trump. I offered to refrain from posting about the president for an entire month if someone could point me to a speech he gave in which every fact he asserts is verifiably true. All they had to do was point to Trump telling the truth and I would let it go for a month.

So far, no takers. And that’s not surprising. Trump lies like most people breathe. It comes so easy to him, he doesn’t even realize he’s doing it.

Last night, he held a campaign rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I call it a campaign rally because it was a rally, organized by his campaign team, and offered an opportunity for the crowd to contribute to Trump’s re-election fund. But Trump couldn’t even be honest about that. He said, “We’re not even campaigning and look at this crowd!”

Well, what are you doing up there? Your campaign staff seems to think this is a campaign event. You’re making a stump speech, making promises, and attacking Democrats just like you did during the campaign. What am I missing?

Speaking of attacking Democrats, Trump couldn’t even keep it straight in his head whether or not he wants to work with Democrats to achieve his agenda goals. When talking about the health care bill in the Senate, he said:

“If we had even a little Democrat support, just a little, like a couple of votes, you’d have everything. And you could give us a lot of votes and we’d even be willing to change it and move it around and try and make it even better. But again, They just want to stop, they just want to obstruct. A few votes from the Democrats, seriously, a few votes from the Democrats, it could be so easy, so beautiful, and you’d have cooperation.”|

First of all, you don’t vote on legislation and then change it. That’s not how legislation works, even when Republicans have a stranglehold on the process. Secondly, Sen. Mitch McConnell has cut out nearly everyone from the process on the health care bill, even members of the 13-member working group supposedly tasked with writing it. Zero Democrats have seen the bill, so how could they be obstructing it? But lastly, shortly after complaining that Democrats won’t work with him, he continued his criticism to the point where even he recognized the irony.

“I am making it a little bit hard to get their support, but who cares?”

So does he want the support of Democrats or doesn’t he? The answer is that he doesn’t care. What he wants is to give rally speeches where he can rag on Democrats. And if you point out the contradiction, you’re a snowflake who needs a safe space. I’m not a snowflake. I don’t need a safe space. I need some logical consistency in my president. I need for a grown up to be in charge.

As for promises, he made an interesting one about immigrants and welfare.

“I believe the time has come for new immigration rules which say those seeking admission into our country must be able to support themselves financially and should not use welfare for a period of at least five years. And we’ll be putting in legislation to that effect very shortly.”

Put aside the fact that whenever Trump promises something will happen “very shortly,” over a “very short period of time” or even “two weeks,” that he has a pattern of simply dropping it and we never see what he promises. In this particular case, he might as well drop it because the law has been on the books since 1996.

Now, that’s not a “lie” per se. Trump may very well propose new legislation that does the exact same thing a previous law already does. But it demonstrates an ignorance of a subject where Trump is supposed to be informed. Immigration reform is one of his big issues. Another is trade policy. But he doesn’t seem to understand that one either.

Look, I get it. He’s a showman! He’s Mr. Media! He’s the second coming of Reagan, the “Greater Communicator!” That’s why he likes to tease things out. He’s always going to tell you about it on the next episode. “Are there tapes of your conversations with FBI Director Comey?” “We’ll be releasing information about that very shortly.” “Do you have evidence President Obama ordered your phones tapped at Trump Tower?” “We’ll be releasing information about that in two weeks.” “Do you have evidence that five million illegal immigrants voted against you in the election?” “We’ll be releasing that information in a short period of time.” What a showman! What an impresario!

Again, pointing out the many mixed signals, contradictory statements, and outright lies this president tells, is futile because what’s important to his ever-shrinking base is that people like me are mad about it. They’d much rather see me cry my liberal tears than hungry children fed or poor people get health care. And I know. I know. I heard the same thing from them during the election: “Hillary voters don’t care that she lies or that she’s a criminal.” They may even believe that’s true. But the difference is that Hillary isn’t president and her FBI investigation ended without charges. PRESIDENT Trump is still under investigation and his voters don’t care.

Last night, he suggested again that he was going to build a wall along the southern border. He hasn’t been able to convince his own party to fund it. In fact, the latest continuing resolution on the budget specifically said no money for the wall. But last night he said he wanted to make it a solar wall so that it will generate funds to save Mexico some money. There is never going to be a border wall. It is too impractical to exist. For example, there is a section of Texas that borders Mexico where the divide is the Rio Grande River. The border between our countries goes right down the middle of the river. Do we build the wall in Texas and yield the river to Mexico? Or do we build the wall in Mexico and yield that section of the wall to a country that doesn’t want it? Or do we leave a big old hole in our beautiful solar wall? It’s just a dumb idea and the grown-ups know this. The grown-ups understand that to achieve three percent annual growth in the economy, we have to hire more Mexicans.

Here’s a fun lie he told last night:

“When I’m signing for the XL Pipeline and the Dakota I said, ‘By the way, who made the pipe? But I put a little clause, handwritten. It said, ‘Anybody builds a pipeline in the United States will use American steel and fabricate in America.’ No more taking it over on boats!”

Mr. President, we have tape of you signing that Executive Order. You never asked “By the way, who made the pipe?” and you held it up for everyone to see your signature. There was no “little clause, handwritten” that said anything. It’s just a lie. But listen to that crowd roar! What a showman! What a raconteur!

He talked about pulling out of the Paris Agreement:

“They all say it’s ‘nonbinding. Like Hell it’s nonbinding. When we get sued by everybody because we thought it was nonbinding, then you can tell me it was nonbinding,”

But when the president held a Rose Garden speech to announce he wanted to leave the Paris Agreement, he said:

“Thus, as of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the nonbinding Paris accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country.”

He is a liar. He lies about little things. He lies about big things. He lies when he doesn’t have to. He lies about the lies he tells. So I feel pretty confident that none of my friends on social media will accept my challenge. Which, I admit, is a little unfair. But I don’t believe the bar is set too high. Just don’t lie to us. Make one speech where you tell the truth. The bar can’t get much lower. But you’d think I was asking him to build his border wall on the moon.

So, to sum up: our president is a liar, his slobbering masses don’t care, and there is no reason for me to ever worry about anyone proving me wrong because, while he may be capable of telling the truth, he feels no need to even try.