Svengali tales are always fascinating but the image of Steve Bannon and David “Citizens United” Bossie meeting Donald Trump for the first time and scripting the political horror story that we all collectively live in, is going to be one of the most fabled parts of of Bob Woodward’s book if this teaser is any indication. According to “Fear: Trump In The White House,” Steve Bannon first met Trump in 2010 when he was considering running for president against Barack Obama. Bannon’s first impression of Trump was that he “was Archie Bunker but a really focused Archie Bunker.” For his part, David Bossie was fit to be tied with Trump’s “record of giving to the abortion guys,” an issue in need of immediate reparation. And Trump, having no real convictions or moral compass, was just fine creating a platform out of thin air, if it would get him the limelight. Daily Beast:
“I’m against abortion,” Trump said, according to Woodward’s book. “I’m pro-life.”
“Well, you’ve got a track record,” Bossie said.
“That can be fixed,” Trump said. “You just tell me how to fix that. I’m—what do you call it? Pro-life. I’m pro-life, I’m telling you.”
Trump’s only legitimacy is in how phony he is, willing to flip to pro-life and declare himself a born again Christian, just to get the wingnut support that Bannon and Bossie told him was crucial to raise himself from 70% to 90% acceptance in the party because “there were rumors about donors fleeing and how everyone in the party was trying to figure a way out of the Trump mess.” We know how they feel.
This next exchange is straight out of the 18th Century play, “The Rivals” which created the legendary character, Mrs. Malaprop, from whom the word malapropism is coined.
Later in the conversation, Woodward writes, Bannon attempted to sell Trump on populism, which was, in his estimation, animating the Tea Party.
“I love that. That’s what I am,” Trump said, “a popularist.” He mangled the word.
“No, no,” Bannon said. “It’s populist.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Trump insisted. “A popularist.”
That probably taught Bannon not to use big words around Trump. The guy’s only got a 200 word vocabulary after all, according to biographer Tony Schwartz. Yet Trump hilariously calls Jeff Sessions, “mentally retarded” and a “dumb southerner.”
Woodward’s book comes out Tuesday. It’s going to be Tums and tranquilizers in the West Wing.