WEDNESDAY, JULY 14, 2021
When he did, Michael Wolff replied: We're happy to be able to say it! We saw Brian Williams ask a very good question last night.
The Wall Street Journal's Michael Bender avoided the very good question two times. So Williams asked the question again a bit later on. This time, Michel Wolff answered:
WILLIAMS (7/13/21): If you attached a polygraph to [Donald J. Trump], would it indicate that he really, deep inside his soul and brain, thinks he won? That he could really perhaps overturn the results?
Did, and does, Donald J. Trump really believe that he won? We think that's an excellent question.
Because our tribe loves tribal war, we prefer to assume, and to say, that Trump is "lying" when he says such things. But is he possibly crazy enough to believe that he actually won?
Is he crazy enough to believe such a thing? Michael Wolff's answer was yes:
WOLFF (continuing directly): I am absolutely convinced. And this is from talking to literally everyone in the White House, in his campaign, in his family and ultimately talking to Trump himself. I am convinced that he believes this. He singularly believes the thing that literally no one else believes. Yes, he is delusional.
Wolff saying it doesn't make it true, but that's what he says he believes. Because we prefer to say that Trump is lying, and because press corps barons prefer to observe The Goldwater Rule, Our Town has spent the past several years refusing to discuss the obvious possibility that Donald J. Trump is "delusional."
Wolff was appearing on the show to discuss his new book, Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump White House. Below, you see his initial statement. It teed up Williams' subsequent very good question:
WILLIAMS: Michael, it's great to have you, and coming off Fire and Fury, it's an interesting, interesting choice of a title, and an interesting choice of a time period to report on. Who was running our country, which we enjoy calling the greatest on earth, during this period?
WOLFF: Well, certainly Donald Trump was not running this country then. All Donald Trump was concerned about was that this election had been stolen from him. And he was singularly obsessed about this. This is an obsession that went beyond—I mean, this was the grand obsession. You know, forget "The Big Lie," which—I mean, I think I would prefer to call it The Big Lunacy, and he is the lunatic-in-chief.
Our ears perked up when Wolff said that. It implied that Trump really does believe that he won the election. That insinuation led to Williams' very good question, the one we've posted above.
Our Town is in love with tribal war—with a tribal war we can't win. For that reason, we prefer to keep saying that Trump lied and is lying.
That claim carries a moral judgment. The notion that Trump is "delusional" could suggest, to decent humans, that we might even pity the fool—or perhaps "the poor immigrant."
In Our Town, we like to talk about Others getting locked up, while we laugh about their spelling mistakes. It doesn't matter how insignificant these Others may actually be.
(See Rachel, as usual, just last night, focusing on the spelling errors of the ridiculous bank president who loaned that money to Manafort. In these ways, we poke and prod and extend a forever war—a war we can't possibly win.)
Wolff said Trump is crazy enough to believe that he actually won. He was also asked about Giuliani. This is what he said:
WILLIAMS: Michael, what should the people watching know about Rudy Giuliani—he of the very dark bombast and even darker dripping goo, the man he's become in the present day?
WOLFF: Well, the first thing that they should know is that he's drinking all the time. He's, you know, if not constantly drunk, certainly buzzed throughout this period, actually probably for, throughout most of the Trump administration. Beyond that or in addition to that, you know, Rudy is—he's a desperate figure, a desperate he will do anything for to be at the center of attention. And if that involves saying anything that Trump wants to hear, he will certainly do that, as we've seen. And, again, everyone in the White House, in the campaign, in Trump's family knows that this is incredibly destructive to the Trump White House.
Many of them actually blame Rudy even more than they blame the president, although everybody also blames the president for the catastrophe of the last four years.
What explains the lunacy Giuliani has churned in recent years? We don't know, but this is the first time we've heard alcohol mentioned. Can that be what this has been?
Our Town will never be able to win the ongoing tribal war. The only people who can win this war are the people who are crazy enough to want a full-blown civil war—a full-blown war to the end.
Crazy people love love love it when tribal fighting is stressed. They want to fight their war to the end. It's the hand-to-hand combat they crave.
In theory, we in Our Town want to see the nation return to something resembling a functional entity. This can only be achieved through some kind of comity. It will never be achieved through a forever war extended on a nightly basis by cable news multimillionaires.
That said, Us against Them has always sold a lot of tickets. It's always good for ratings. People like Rachel keep churning it out. It's pretty much all Our Town gets on cable at this point, and the dumb stupid warfare continues.
That silly Chicago bank exec spelled "prospective" wrong! (He had it confused with "perspective!") When Our Own Rhodes Scholar—a Stanford / Oxford grad—entertains Our Town by mocking such dumbness, people in the Other Towns know where it's coming from.
It comes from a condescending place. A certain element in Our Town has always behaved this way.
Also this: Was Our Town badly misled by the Steele dossier?
We know, we know—it just felt so good, especially the pee tape section! But were we badly played by that dossier?
Over at New York magazine, that's what T. A. Frank seems to be saying. Personally, we don't know.