Bad news, everyone! You have a reading assignment. It’s the first major book written about the 2016 campaign (we’re not counting Shattered, the hitjob book about how everything is Hillary Clinton’s fault, because she committed the crime of being Hillary Clinton), and it is called Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency, written by Bloomberg reporter Joshua Green. (We already wrote about it last week, when New York Magazine published an excerpt. But the actual book was released today, therefore we have delicious REVIEWS, chock full of juicy tidbits about the inner workings of the Trump campaign, minus the obvious Russian conspiracy parts.)
New York Times climate change denier Bret Stephens calls the book “compulsively readable.” Newsweek calls it “addictive, if not definitive,” as well as “not especially good” and “you won’t be able to put it down.” Sold! Or not!
As Newsweek explains, much of the book is Steve Bannon’s biography. ZZZZZZ. We’ve been over that before. We know how he brought that special neo-Nazi flavor to Dead Breitbart, and how he groused over sending his kids to school with Jews. We know he once said only property owners should be able to vote. He thinks women who go to good Northeastern colleges are “a bunch of dykes.” He’s a “Leninist” who worked at Goldman Sachs and invested in “Seinfeld” like a common liberal elite, but actually he hates liberal elites, because they all find him pimply and unfuckable. BORING.
But there are other fun nuggets in the book, and The Daily Mail does a really good job of picking them out. For instance, this thing about Donald Trump getting offended by Chris Christie’s gross sticky cell phone on election night makes us want to read the book FAR MORE than Steve Bannon’s history of being a racist sentient badger shart:
Trump was in his War Room on election night when it started to look like he would pull off his shock victory.
The book says that ‘although he was surrounded by friends, aides and family members, there seemed to be a force field around him that discouraged a direct approach’.
Friends started congratulating Mike Pence instead and saluting him as ‘Mr Vice President’.
Trump sat down to ‘absorb the gravity of what was happening’ and a moment later Christie ‘burst through the force field and sat next to him’.
Christie said: ‘Hey Donald. The President talked to me earlier’ – the two had gotten to know each other after Superstorm Sandy. Christie said: ‘If you win he’s going to call my phone, and I’ll pass it over to you’.
Trump ‘flashed a look of annoyance, clearly resenting the intrusion’ and was repulsed by the idea of having somebody else’s phone next to his face.
Trump told Christie: ‘Hey Chris, you know my f***ing phone number. Just give it to the President. I don’t want your f***ing phone’.
Aides said that Christie’s move was the ‘ultimate mistake’ and one from which he ‘wouldn’t recover’.
That’s right, because Chris Christie’s phone is probably covered in STINKY SNACK CRUMBS. Anyway, that was allegedly the beginning of the end for Trump and Christie. Of course, as the Mail points out, Jared Kushner ultimately fired Christie, partially because he holds a grudge against him for putting his disgusting criminal dad in prison.
The book also reveals that part of why campaign manager Paul Manafort was fired — aside from how the media was starting to scrutinize all his Russian connections — is that Trump got very upset about a New York Times article that said his campaign was a fuckshow and that his aides had to communicate with him through the TV to get his attention. We thought that was common knowledge, but oh boy, it hurt Trump’s feelings. Here’s Trump screaming at Manafort at his New Jersey Bedminster estate:
Trump shouted at Manafort: ‘How can anybody allow an article that says your campaign is all f***ed up?
‘You think you’ve gotta go on TV to talk to me? You treat me like a baby!
‘Am I like a baby to you? I sit there like a little baby and watch TV and you talk to me? Am I a f***ing baby, Paul?’
If the onesie fits.
The Daily Beast flags another interesting tidbit from the book. Apparently, despite Trump’s insistence that he won the 2016 election because he was so awesome, his campaign was well aware that the infamous James Comey memo about Hillary Clinton’s “new” emails was a big reason Trump ultimately won. In fact, “some of Trump’s pollsters and data gurus” wrote an internal memo about it:
“The last few days have proven to be pivotal in the minds of voters with the recent revelations in reopening the investigation of Secretary Clinton,” the memo read, according to Green. “Early polling numbers show declining support for Clinton, shifting in favor of Mr. Trump.”
It added: “This may have a fundamental impact on the results.”
Despite Trump’s general awesomeness and the effects of the Comey memo (COUGH! and Russia COUGH!), the book says everybody was still shocked when Trump won. In fact, according to the Daily Beast, the book describes Steve Bannon’s charming final
solution strategy for the end of the campaign, and it doesn’t include #winning:
“Our backup strategy,” he said of Clinton, according to Green, “is to fuck her up so bad that she can’t govern. If she gets 43 percent of the vote, she can’t claim a mandate.”
Later, Bannon added: “My goal is that by November 8, when you hear her name, you’re gonna throw up.”
God, he’s such a sweetheart.
Wonkette’s official review of this book is “We haven’t read it yet but if one of our readers wants to buy it for us as a present that’s cool. Or just send us money.”
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