Greg Dennis: An interview with President Trump
MIDDLEBURY AIRPORT, April 1, 2018 — Here’s a lightly edited transcript of my recent conversation with President Donald Trump.
GD: Thanks for stopping on the Middlebury airport tarmac for an interview today.
DT: Of course. It’s great to be back in New Hampshire. “Live free or die” and all that.
GD: Actually, sir, you’re in Vermont.
DT: Great place, Vermont. I won the primary here by the biggest margin anyone has ever won an election. (1)
GD: Not sure that’s actually true, Mr. President. And by the way, I wonder if it bothers you when some people refer to you as “not my president.”
DT: Of course not. The anti-freedom, loser Democrats said the same thing about Charlton Heston when he was president, and look where that got them. (2) Besides, I won the election by nearly 3 million votes. A lot of people were saying it would have been a lot more if Hillary Clinton hadn’t conspired with the Russians. (3)
GD: Many people are worried about the state of your marriage, and I see that you’re traveling without your wife.
DT: Nothing to worry about there. As you probably heard from one of my paid liars at the White House, Melania and I have a “spring break tradition” where we take some time apart. (4)
GD: Judging by recent interviews with two women who claim you had extra-marital affairs with them, your spring break sometimes includes trips to Las Vegas where you try to pick up porn stars and Playmates (5). According to both women, you told them they reminded you of your daughter. And then you asked them to have sex with you.
DT: Ha, good one! That’s all #FakeNews. I’ve actually never been to Las Vegas. I’m not sure I’ve ever been to Nevada.
GD: But, sir, there’s a hotel there called the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas.
DT: I know! Pretty clever, don’t you think, given that I’ve never traveled west of the Mississippi?
GD: Before we go any further, let’s talk about the massive demonstrations all over the world last weekend, calling for more gun control laws.
DT: I thought it was wonderful to see all those people demonstrating their First Amendment rights. Not a lot of people know this — but the First Amendment is actually almost as important as the Second Amendment.
GD: Gee, I never saw it that way.
DT: And you know what they call “good gun control,” right? That’s when you have both hands on your firearm. Something else most people don’t know is that I made up that line all by myself. Because I’m a very stable genius. (6)
GD: Here in Middlebury, 400 people gathered last Saturday to call for more gun safety laws to prevent school shootings and other violence, by making it slightly harder for unstable people to gain easy access to assault rifles and other guns. A lot of us were very touched by remarks from a girl who’s a student at Middlebury Union Middle School. She said that every morning when she leaves for school, she tells her mother she loves her — out of worry that she may be murdered while at school and never see her mother again.
DT: If that girl was a real student, why wasn’t she in school instead of out making speeches?
GD: This was on a Saturday.
DT: Well, then, obviously she was an actor or one of those kids who’ve been photographed tearing up the Constitution (7). I’ve read the Constitution, by the way. I loved the part about Two Corinthians.
GD: I’d like to ask you about Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and indications that your campaign conspired with the Russians.
DT: #FakeNews #NoCollusion #FireMueller
GD: I can’t help but notice that you actually say, “hash tag.” Do you always do that?
DT: No, usually I have people who say that for me. But all of my aides had other commitments today.
GD: I notice that you’re having trouble finding more attorneys to represent you now that the head of your legal team has quit, and you’ve decided not to hire Joseph diGenova and Victoria Toensing. (8)
DT: Maybe I’ll find a few good lawyers while I’m here in Vermont.
GD: Our state isn’t exactly known as a hotbed of criminal defense.
DT: Who said anything about criminals? I heard you have a Moscow here in Vermont. I never did get to build a Trump hotel in the real Moscow. Maybe I could build one here. (9)
GD: There’s a lot of evidence of contacts between your campaign and Russian leaders. These include a meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian agent and a notably misleading explanation when it was exposed (10). There have recently been guilty pleas by one of your foreign policy advisers, George Papadopoulos; your former national security adviser, Michael Flynn; and Rick Gates, one of your top campaign officials who also helped lead your inauguration activities.
Special counsel Robert Mueller has gathered massive evidence in charges against 13 Russian nationals who manipulated social media to aid your campaign. He’s also charged your former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, with multimillion-dollar crimes alleged to have been committed before he ran into financial trouble and convinced you he should chair your campaign. Then Manafort led the effort to soften language in the Republican platform about Russian attempts to take over Ukraine, where he had represented Ukrainian politicians favorable to Moscow.
DT: Huh. Do you happen to know if Vermont can offer political asylum to a New York resident temporarily residing in Washington, D.C.?
GD: Well, I doubt it. But of course you should check with an attorney on that.
DT: Good idea. I’ll do that. As soon as I can find one willing to represent me.
Trump took 33 percent in the Vermont GOP primary, besting Gov. John Kasich by just 3 percent. Vladimir Putin won the recent Russian election with a purported 76 percent of the vote.
(2) Actor Charlton Heston was a five-term president of the National Rifle Association.
(3) Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes. Trump triumphed by virtue of the Electoral College — part of the route by which George W. Bush also won the presidency despite losing the popular vote to Al Gore.
(4) The “spring break tradition” statement was made by White House Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters.
(5) Both of them at the same golf tournament on the same weekend, shortly after the birth of his son with Melania.
(6) Donald Trump on Twitter, Jan. 5, 2018, when he also stated, “My two greatest assets have been mental stability and, like, being really smart.”
(7) Since the gun massacre of 17 Parkland, Fla. students by a young man armed with an assault rifle, right-wing websites have claimed that Parkland students calling for gun safety laws were in fact paid actors. A doctored photo, widely circulated by right-wing sites, falsely claimed to show Parkland student Emma Gonzales tearing up a copy of the Constitution.
(8) Toensing’s son, Brady Toensing, is vice chairman of the Vermont Republican Party. His efforts were instrumental in leading the FBI to investigate events around the closure of Burlington College. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ wife, Jane, was president of the college at the time of its demise.
(9) Moscow, Vt. is a tiny unincorporated area that’s best known as a popular shortcut to Stowe Mountain Resort (and its Fourth of July parade.)
(10) Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., and then-White House communications director Hope Hicks were widely reported to have drafted the explanation, which inaccurately said the meeting was about Russian adoptions. Subsequent emails showed the meeting, attended by a Kremlin-connected attorney along with Trump, Jr., then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, was in fact a discussion of Russian efforts to convey damaging information about Hillary Clinton to the Trump campaign.
Gregory Dennis’s column appears here on alternate Thursdays and is archived on his blog at gregdennis.wordpress.com. Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @GreenGregDennis.
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