Better late than never, goes the adage. Yes, I guess if you’re going to run for president of the United States, for yet a third time, maybe, just maybe, you should start conducting your affairs the way real statesmen and women conduct them from the outset. The Associated Press is reporting that last week’s disastrous dinner at Mar-a-Lago, where Trump hosted neo-Nazis, will not repeat itself.

In an acknowledgment of the severity of the backlash and an effort to prevent a repeat, Trump’s campaign is putting new protocols in place to ensure that those who meet with him are approved and fully vetted, according to people familiar with the plans who requested anonymity to share internal strategy. The changes will include expediting a system, borrowed from Trump’s White House, in which a senior campaign official will be present with him at all times, according to one of the people. […]

Trump has repeatedly said he did not know until after the fact that he had had dinner with Nick Fuentes, the far-right activist who has used his online platform to spew antisemitic and white nationalist rhetoric. Fuentes arrived by car with Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, and was waved into the club by security, even though only Ye had been on the security list, according to one of the people present and others briefed on the events. (Fuentes apparently did not show his ID and the car’s driver, a frequent guest at the club, got in using a credit card after misplacing her license.) […]

Some aides had advised Trump against meeting with Ye, who has made his own antisemitic comments. But the two have a longstanding relationship and Trump rebuffed the advice. They were supposed to meet one-on-one in the club’s library, but Trump, eager to show off his celebrity guest to his paying club members, decided to divert the group to the club’s main patio dining area. Fuentes joined the dinner at Ye’s invitation.

And we have since learned that Fuentes and Milo Yiannopoulos were there to embarrass Trump.

He did it to himself. Trump can’t afford any more screw ups like this. There is no other candidate for any high office, let alone president, who doesn’t know who s/he’s sitting down to dinner with publicly and what the ramifications of a wrong move could be. This isn’t the old days, with Trump as the iconoclast. He’s the icon now, supposedly. The MAGA icon at least.

…the political landscape is fundamentally different now. Trump is no longer a political outsider or newcomer. He’s a member of a most elite circle — the former presidents club — and a seasoned politician mounting what is now his third campaign for the office. And after nearly eight years of his dominating the news cycle, many in his party and the voting public are tired of the constant drama and chaos.

“If you have people who are constantly creating distractions and taking you off message and forcing people to answer questions like the ones that you’re asking, that’s not a good thing,” South Dakota Sen. John Thune, the No. 2 Senate Republican, told reporters on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. […]

Trump’s team had planned to wait until the new year to begin building out a more robust and regimented campaign operation. But while no travel has been planned through the end of the year, aides are stepping up their efforts to ensure the people he meets with have been screened and that the former president is staffed by a rotating set of campaign aides — something that had not been expected to begin until January.

In the aftermath of the dinner meeting, several GOP senators had said those responsible for the meeting should be fired. Longtime allies not involved in the campaign questioned how Fuentes was able to access the club and why nobody seemed aware of his presence or warned Trump against meeting with him.

So far, Trump has refused to condemn the views of either visitor, despite growing condemnation from his party, including calls for an apology from his former Vice President Mike Pence.

I think I’ll send a copy of this AP article over to Kevin McCarthy’s office. I know that if they’re wrong and in fact, Trump condemned Fuentes four times already, they will want to hear the details so that they can get the story right. Meanwhile, we have to decide who to believe, McCarthy or the Associated Press.

I’m going to venture a guess that Mar-a-Lago is not a fun place to work these days. The campaign barely was launched, then this major scandal. And do not forget, December 6 should be another jolt in Trump world if Herschel Walker loses, as expected.

Trump needs to tread the straight and narrow now, and that’s not his style. He has no discipline. This is going to be torture for him, having to do things by the book. Frankly, I’m wondering if he’ll stay in the race.

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  1. The evidence of multiple crimes by trump is overwhelming. Let’s hope Mr White restores some respect for the law by indicting this traitor long before 2024. I know some will say that’s already happened with the oath keepers. No. Not really. The hypocrisy of the law is that it DOES go after average citizens. It historically looks the other way for the rich & powerful. Still waiting. Two years. Dead cops. The man is free to run for the top office after leading a violent mob to overthrow our democracy two freaking years ago? Give me a break & don’t waste your time making excuses. The law doesn’t fuck around for years to make an airtight case for the rest of us. Fact. By the way he’s not a goddamn king. The law has treated him like he is.

    • Most of the rest of us don’t run criminal conspiracies either, inept or otherwise. Summary executions are for Third World juntas. Want the institution to survive, you’ve got to prove it works, according to the rules it already laid down. Otherwise, that too is a signal of weakness, one that encourages repeat performances.

      All of which is why I am SO looking forward to rubbing Trump’s final immolation in your face to the point of insufferable when the day finally comes. I understood one thing you never did: “rich and powerful” always gets outdone by the needs of institutional survival when the former is this blatantly stupid. After a close enough call, a robust enough institution ALWAYS makes an example of the offender so it can never happen.

      • Uh. Stealing 11,000 documents, some top secret, after lying on legal documents that you don’t have them, is as straightforward as it gets. That is clear as a bell. What’s the conspiracy in that? Excuses for a double standard that’s so obvious, you should be working for faux news. You’re going to continue to wait. Enjoy.

        • You have to remember how dire the situation will be if any of the legal cases against trump are lost because of a couple of MAGA types in the way – that’s why they are so careful, there’s only one chance to get his ‘reward’ right. And the problem also is within the system there are people who do not want to really cooperate with this investigation because he is/was ‘their guy’ and they want to help ‘their party’ get over this as cleanly as possible, so if it could all just slowly disintegrate while nobody was looking that is exactly what they would prefer. The reality is that a large number of pols were involved in the scheme, they may not have actually participated, but they all knew what was going on – now they are all feigning innocence. IMO that may include Chris Wray himself !

  2. They can put all the safeguards in place, but it still doesn’t change who Trump is or will be. I agree, he will most likely take these restrictions as intolerable. We shall see how this goes.

    • I can make an educated guess on how well it’ll go. If “guardrails” didn’t stop him from foolish moves for that long in the White House, why should now be any different?

  3. I don’t think this will do much good.
    Donny Dumbass will just overrule the handler if he wants to meet with somebody he saw on the tee-vee or who said something nice about him.


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