I can’t seem to get enough of the total car crash that is the Trump presidency. Early in 2018 I reviewed Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff (read about it here) which was possibly the first mainstream best seller to have a real insight into the White House under Trump. Later in 2018 I read Fear by Bob Woodward (read about it here) which was a much more balanced account of Trump’s first term in office. Neither book portrays Trump in a favourable light.
I have now finished two more books about Trump, both very different.
First up we have A Very Stable Genius by Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig. The authors are journalists for the Washington Post and are multiple winners of the Pulitzer Prize. This book isn’t a hack job. It begins with Trump announcing his candidacy and ends with the infamous phone call to the Ukrainian President, the one where Trump asked for a Quid Pro Quo.
A lot of what is in the book has been reported and written before, especially in the newspapers, and as with any book it isn’t up to date missing out on the whitewash that was his impeachment. There are interviews with former staff, and many current staff, most often anonymously. One of the most interesting aspects of the book is the Russian investigation by Robert Mueller,and how scared Trump’s team of lawyers were about him having to give evidence in person. Everyone knows that Trumps lies, and lies so constantly he doesn’t distinguish truth from lies, a complete sociopath. The book concludes that Mueller had Trump, but for whatever reason, let him off the hook. My only hope is that Trump loses the 2020 election and criminal charges are brought against him. If he wins then the statue of limitations will have passed and he will be the teflon don, again.
I’m with Stephen Hawking who said that anyone who needs to say how intelligent they are, isn’t.
Next up a more upbeat book, Commander in Cheat by Rick Reilly. This is a book about golf, specifically golf and Trump. The idea being that you can much about the character of a person by the way that they play golf. Trump cheats at golf. Trump’s caddies cheat at golf for Trump, even the secret service agents tasked with protecting Trump, cheat at golf for Trump.
I’m not a big fan of golf and a lot of the terminology went over my head, but this book looks at the whole history of Trump and golf, from when he first started playing to the huge number of days he has spent golfing while in the White House. Remember that time he tweeted about Obama playing too much golf, or when he said that he would be too busy to ever play golf. Turns out he has played more golf in three years than Obama playing in eight. Trump also plays exclusively at his own courses, lining his own pockets, while Obama played mainly on military courses.
The book tries to explain Trumps presidency through golf. For example to Muslin ban didn’t apply to those countries where Trump has a golf course, the UAE and Singapore. The book also describes the four day gold tournament that Trump attended where he allegedly slept with Stormy Daniels, while his wife Melania was in New York with their four month old son. Trump had also brought his mistress with him to the tournament, doubling up the douchery.
Most shocking is that Trump is just a playground bully. He tries to stiff everyone who works for him, large and small businesses alike. It is a wonder that anyone ever agrees to take on a project with him. He has been sued over 3,500 times, and he loses or settles most of them. Just how many more thousands of law suits would have occurred if people hadn’t been put off by Trump’s army of lawyers.
Trump also like to ‘improve’ golf courses, often by simply adding length and a large fake waterfall. That’s not to say he hasn’t had success. The Turnberry course in Scotland is apparently one of the best courses in the world, hugely improved since Trump took over, and if it wasn’t for the fact that the Trump name is so toxic in Scotland the course would have been awarded the Scottish open ages ago. Additionally, people who play with Trump always say how much fun it was, even if they have no idea who won or what the scores were.
Finally, if any of you do play golf, Trump drive his golf cart onto the greens.
Currently reading Wake of Vultures by Lila Bowen and American Gods (extended version) by Neil Gaiman.