If there’s some small silver lining to seeing Trump without his social media platforms, it’s that you just know he is bursting at the seams to howl into the void about how all the things coming out in the inevitable post-presidency “tell-all” books aren’t real and they’re fake news from haters and losers but he just can’t.
He’s forced to issue his little statements on his little website and wait until someone notices them — but it’s just not the same as blasting out 280 characters of unadulterated vitriol to 60 million people with the click of a button.
But that is what Trump has been reduced to, and he has a lot of responding to do these days.
The most recent excerpts from Michael C. Bender’s book Frankly, We Did Win The Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost revealed yesterday that in 2018, Trump became furious at the news that Pence’s political team had hired former Trump campaign manager and abuser Corey Lewandowski (“so disloyal!”) and threw a crumpled piece of paper at his normally servile vice president.
Uncharacteristically, Pence responded to Trump’s puny assault with a flash of genuine anger, according to Bender’s account of the incident.
“Mr. Pence lost it,” he writes. “Mr. Kushner had asked him to hire Mr. Lewandowski, and he had discussed the plan with Mr. Trump over lunch. Mr. Pence picked up the article and threw it back at Mr. Trump. He leaned toward the president and pointed a finger a few inches from his chest. ‘We walked you through every detail of this,’ Mr. Pence snarled. ‘We did this for you—as a favor. And this is how you respond? You need to get your facts straight.’”
The anecdote, while portraying Mike Pence as a stronger personality than he typically displays publicly, could help the former VP rehabilitate his reputation among members of the Republican Party who are beginning to doubt that Trump will be available for a presidential bid in 2024 given the recent indictments of the Trump Organization and its CFO Allen Weisellberg by New York prosecutors and the likelihood that that investigation hasn’t fully run its course.
The story, however, does not paint a particularly flattering portrait of the twice-impeached former president whose casual cruelty and utter disrespect towards his number two is compounded by the example of his gaslighting treachery.
Naturally, Trump couldn’t accept the telling of a narrative that he himself did not control, so, drawing on his long history of discrediting any media report that contains an iota of negative coverage, he immediately issued a statement attacking the veracity of Bender’s account
In addition to denying that the blow-up with Mike Pence ever happened, Trump prophylactically debunks any future stories of his malevolent behavior to be revealed in books that have yet to be published, further spreading his cliched mantra of “fake news” in advance of actually being able to read what is being said about him.
Despite Trump’s accusations that his book is a work of fiction, author Michael C. Bender vigorously defended his reporting as factual in a tweet and teased that there will be even more for Trump to deny when the full book is available next week.
With two conflicting accounts of whether the former president and his vice president engaged in such a heated exchange, one simply has to ask oneself: who do you trust to be telling the truth in this instance — a respected journalist and author or the man who is alleged by The Washington Post to have made 30,573 false or misleading claims during his four years in The White House?
In the meantime, many readers are patiently waiting for the official publication of Frankly, We Did Win The Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost to see what other shocking tidbits of Trump’s presidency will be revealed.
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