It’s time for a thought experiment. Fill your mind with the image of Donald Trump golfing.
Not a very exotic fantasy, we know, but now expand your mental image to have the beefy former president golfing on a course located on an African savannah.
Now add a pack of marauding lions to the scene.
While the scenario you’ve just conjured in your head may seem like a pleasant revenge fantasy for having to live through four years of Trump as president, what you’ve actually recreated is one of the animal-disdaining ex-president’s darkest nightmares if one believes the account in Peril, the new book from The Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa.
The authors relate a conversation that took place between the former-golfer-in-chief and his two companions for the day’s Secret Service-escorted jaunt around one of Trump’s golf clubs, the obsequious Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and the South African professional golfer Gary Player.
In this post-presidential round, Senator Graham was reportedly aiming to convince Trump to stop dividing the Republican Party and start working to elect more GOPers in the midterms.
The former professional golf champion was just trying to help Trump improve his swing and was telling the former guy that he needed to exert more control in his swing, suggesting “toning it down, swinging less extravagantly” than he had in the past.
According to Woodward and Costa, Senator Graham interpreted the advice as equally applicable to Trump’s political approach.
At one point Player suggested to Trump that he should expand his empire of international golf resorts and open up a club in Africa.
That’s when the former president’s preternatural fear of large savannah felines was exposed.
“What happens, Gary, when two lions look out and say, ‘You know, that’s a pretty thick guy. I’d like to eat him. Let’s go eat him,’ ” Trump explained his opposition to Player’s business expansion idea.
“Well, they’ve got fences and stuff,” Player patiently responded.
“You mean they can’t climb over a fence?” Trump seriously asked in reply.
“If you get in a Jeep, they won’t come into the Jeep,” the golf pro reassured him.
“How do you know they won’t come into the Jeep?” the still skeptical Trump asked.
“I’m not betting my life on it,” Graham interjected.
Gary Player must be excused for not being aware that his golfing client suffered from a case of ailurophobia, the persistent and excessive fear of cats.
Perhaps as someone born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Player had blocked out the memory of Trump referring to African nations as “shithole countries” or he likely would know better than to suggest such a hopeless venture to his golfing mentee.
Now at least we have an explanation as to why Trump reacted so badly to the legions of women wearing pink “pussy hats” right after his inauguration.
Perhaps the strongest step that President Biden can take to make sure that Trump never returns to the White House is to borrow a few of the magnificent beasts from the menagerie at the National Zoo and set them loose on the White House lawn.
We were fantasizing, after all.
Peril, the new book from The Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, is available starting today at your local independent book shop.
Original reporting by Sarah K. Burris at RawStory.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.