Tantrums and Tyranny: An All Access Account of Cut-Rate Leadership

BY MAX BURBANK | Breaking News! Michael Wolff ignites a media firestorm and turns Washington, DC on its head with the release of his scathing, tell-all indictment of a pathological Liar-in-Chief surrounded by la- la-la-la-la, etc. Well, it’s all crap. I don’t mean the book is inaccurate. It’s dead-on. I just mean A) The administration’s complete incompetence and utter amorality isn’t news, and B) It’s MY DAMN BOOK!

It was supposed to be, anyway.

Illustration by Max BurbankAll anyone can talk about is how Wolff has been sitting on a West Wing couch for months! You know when he sat on that couch? Once every couple of weeks when I got up to get a cup of coffee and forgot to call “fives!” I lived on that damn couch! On it, under it. I hid in the curtains with Comey, stood in the bushes like a pervert with Spicer. Hope Hicks used to call me “Mr. Access” — admittedly because she had no idea who I was, but that’s hardly the point!

I’ve been lurking near Trump since the transition, working on an extremely obvious, certain best-seller, and that bald weasel Wolff wrote it first because he’s a schmooze-meister; an oily backstabber; and, also, I’m kind of unreliable when it comes to deadlines on account of laziness.

I get that you doubt me. Why would the Trump camp give me access when I’ve never done anything but write poorly sourced smack about them since the Iowa Caucuses? I’ve got a simple secret. None of them know anything about what they do, and there’s no chain of command. I just walked into Trump Tower and told the guy at the security desk I was supposed to be there. They asked who approved me. I said, “You know that weird-ass looking guy? The uncomfortable one nobody likes, with the irritating voice and the ill-fitting suit? He’s, like, in charge of a whole bunch of different stuff?” That could have been anybody on staff, so the security guy shrugs and points me to the elevator. So I’m in, and when the whole gang of creeps moved to Pennsylvania Avenue, I went with them.

Well, it was all for nothing. Michael Wolff got there first, and now I have to write what I personally observed in this column like it’s any other week — when I should be swimming in mountains of gold coins like Scrooge Frickin’ McDuck. Whatever. Here’s the gems:

THEY NEVER MEANT TO WIN: According to human-shaped leather bag of whiskey Steve Bannon, “Look, losing meant we were the guys who almost pulled off the biggest upset in American history. I’d end up owning the Tea Party, add ’em to my White Supremacist dirtbag army. Kellyanne gets her own show on the cable network Trump walks straight into, Ivanka peddles her Made in China shoe, bag, and trinket lines there instead of QVC, no middleman. Okay, 8 p.m. on election night, it’s starting to look like Trump could actually win. Mike Flynn’s racing around the room shrieking about how he took 45 grand for a speech to the Russians. Who woulda given a crap if we lost? But now he’s screaming, “I’m going to jail, I’m going to jail!” Melania’s crying like a Slovenian SpongeBob, you know? Like her eyes are fire hoses? Trump sicks up all down his shirtfront. Jared’s trying to clean it off with these alcohol wipes he always carries, ’cause Trump’s a germ freak, and the first to wipe him gets points. But Trump’s falsetto-screaming, ‘Don’t touch me, keep your hands off me!’ It was hilarious! I look over at Priebus and he’s not even cracking a smile. That’s when I knew if either of us made it four months without getting fired, I’d have to kill him.”

FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF PRIEBUS DIDN’T GET IT: He’s just about the only inner circle guy who comes from semi-legit politics. So Roger Ailes, ex-CEO of Fox News? Totally disgraced, but Trump likes having him around ’cause they have shared interests: golf, sexual harassment, rich old white guy stuff. Ailes takes Priebus aside, and says, “Listen: When you have an hour meeting with Trump? It’s gonna be him telling five-minute stories the whole time, and it’s only gonna be two stories on repeat, then just one, then bits of one. The last 10 minutes, he’s just gonna stare at you and say one word over and over, probably hamburger.” And then Priebus laughs, and Ailes goes, “Not joking. You’re gonna find that out.”

TRUMP CAN’T READ: His daily intelligence briefing is delivered in the form of a connect-the-dots puzzle. It has to have less than 50 dots, or he throws a coffee pot.

IVANKA COMES OFF AS SMART, BUT ONLY BECAUSE SHE’S USUALLY STANDING NEXT TO A FAMILY MEMBER: Ivanka talked to me constantly, said she liked me because I was a “little Jew” and pretty women never talk to us, so it makes us squirmy and terrified and that is so fun. One day she tells me, “The best thing about daddy being King of America is, when he dies? I get to be King. I mean, you know, Queen. Jared and I agreed it would be me, because he can’t talk in public. His voice is like a little boy cartoon mouse that likes other boy cartoon mice. My daddy is so old. He has to wear lots of foundation, because he’s really old. And repulsive. He can’t stand people who aren’t white. Isn’t that so cute?”

AS BAD AS YOU THINK THINGS ARE WITH TRUMP? WAY WORSE: He calls Hope Hicks “Wigvanka” because he thinks she’s Ivanka wearing a brunette wig for some kind of disturbing, role-playing thing. He frequently doesn’t recognize Melania and had a trap door installed in his private bedroom for “that scary Slavic woman who might come for me one night.” In fact, Melania has never tried to enter the room, but two Secret Service agents have been given medical leave for shattered ankles.

CURRENT CHIEF OF STAFF JOHN KELLY DOESN’T GET IT AND CRIES A LOT: Pretty much any time he’s not on camera, he’s softly weeping. He can also be found facing various West Wing walls whispering, “The horror… the horror.”

That’s about all I got. No wonder Wolff beat me to the punch. Kind of surprising, considering I’ve been hanging out with the administration for over a year. Turns out this White House isn’t really an environment conducive to accomplishing anything. Bad for me personally, but pretty lucky for all of us collectively, I guess. Hey, we made it a year. Maybe our luck will hold up, right?

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