Imagine Michael Wolff was seated in a Beverly Hills mansion with another person and the media reporter was only the second most evil one in the room. Who could the other dickwad be? Mussolini? Coach Knight? Justin Bieber? A combination of all three, in a sense. It was Donald Trump, the GOP nominee, who answered Wolff’s questions while scarfing down a pint of Haagen-Dazs—vanilla, of course–desperate to add some bulk to his delicate frame.
During the conversation for a Hollywood Reporter profile, Trump acknowledged he’s proud there are machine-gun-toting police surrounding his home and is ebullient about being told by his son-in-law that he might now be the world’s most famous person. That could be true because let’s face it, whether you love or hate Trump, you must admit his Q rating is approaching Hitler territory.
It’s brisk and well-written, as all Wolff pieces are, with Trump coming across particularly badly when unfamiliar with the term “Brexit,” but in all fairness, he was busy all afternoon measuring his penis. Of course, revealing the hideous hotelier as provincial, uninformed and poorly read is like exposing the Pope as male, Catholic and big-hatted.
Two excerpts follow.
I ask if he sees himself as having similarities with leaders of the growing anti-immigrant (some would say outright racist) European nativist movements, like Marine Le Pen in France and Matteo Salvini in Italy, whom The Wall Street Journal reported Trump had met with and endorsed in Philadelphia. (“Matteo, I wish you become the next Italian premier soon,” Trump was quoted as saying.) In fact, he insists he didn’t meet Salvini. “I didn’t want to meet him.” And, in sum, he doesn’t particularly see similarities — or at least isn’t interested in them — between those movements and the anti-immigrant nationalism he is promoting in this country.
“And Brexit? Your position?” I ask.
“The Brits leaving the EU,” I prompt, realizing that his lack of familiarity with one of the most pressing issues in Europe is for him no concern nor liability at all.
“Oh yeah, I think they should leave.”
It is hard not to feel that Trump understands himself, and that we’re all in on this kind of spectacular joke.•
I ask that de rigeur presidential question, which does not seem yet to have been asked of him. “What books are you reading?”
He knows he’s caught (it’s a question that all politicians are prepped on, but who among his not-bookish coterie would have prepped him even with the standard GOP politician answer: the Bible?). But he goes for it.
“I’m reading the Ed Klein book on Hillary Clinton” — a particular hatchet job, which at the very least has certainly been digested for him. “And I’m reading the book on Richard Nixon that was, well, I’ll get you the exact information on it. I’m reading a book that I’ve read before, it’s one of my favorite books, All Quiet on the Western Front, which is one of the greatest books of all time.” And one I suspect he’s suddenly remembering from high school. But what the hell.•