Friday, April 13, 2018

Mafioso In The White House

Excerpts from James Comey's book,  A Higher Loyalty, have hit the papers. The Guardian obtained an advance copy from a New York bookseller and has published excerpts from the book. Comey's description of his first meeting with Trump is instructive:

[He] appeared shorter than he seemed on a debate stage with Hillary Clinton. His face appeared slightly orange, with bright white half-moons under his eyes where I assume he placed small tanning goggles, and impressively coiffed, bright blond hair, which on close inspection looked to be all his. I remember wondering how long it must take him in the morning to get that done.

Here was a man who spent a lot of time in front of a mirror. But the more Comey got to know Trump, the more the president reminded him of characters he had met before:

I had never seen anything like it in the Oval Office. As I found myself thrust into the Trump orbit, I once again was having flashbacks to my earlier career as a prosecutor against the mob. The silent circle of assent. The boss in complete control. The loyalty oaths. The us-versus-them worldview. The lying about all things, large and small, in service to some code of loyalty that put the organization above morality and the truth.”
Of Trump’s now famous demand over dinner at the White House in January 2017, “I need loyalty”, Comey writes: “To my mind, the demand was like Sammy the Bull’s Cosa Nostra induction ceremony – with Trump in the role of the family boss, asking me if I have what it takes to be a ‘made man.

That insight seems to fit when one remembers that Trump's protector was Roy Cohn, who represented New York mafiosos like Tony Salerno, Carmine Galante and John Gotti. Moreover, given recent reporting on how Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen works, the characterization appears to be spot on.

And, because Robert Mueller was the man who finally sent John Gotti to jail, it appears that the folks at the Justice Department know who they're dealing with.

All of this means that Donald The Don will not go easily.

Image: Pinterest


Lorne said...

I have put the book on old at the library, Owen. It promises to make fascinating reading, although I doubt it will lend new understanding of Trump, given the patent shallowness and infantile egoism that obviously drive and largely define him.

the salamander said...

.. when the Trump tree falls it will be the sound of old rotted wood hitting the forest floor.. lots of pieces.. no glam, no glory. No lawyer will be able to soften the fall.. just a disgusting piece of dead garbage tree.. roll it to the side. A special place in history awaits this thug.. kind of a Benedict Arnold kind of piece of history... and the GOP who enabled this are tarnished for life.. Someone this morning pointed out 'Profiles In Courage' apply to none of these self serving and smug parasites

Owen Gray said...

I suspect that Comey will confirm in spades what we already know about Trump, Lorne. I find it fascinating that Comey's impression of Trump is that he is -- first and foremost -- a crook.

Owen Gray said...

Men like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell will not make it into the Pantheon of American History, Sal. There are no Abraham Lincolns in the modern Republican Party.

The Mound of Sound said...

With so many Congressional Republicans bailing out before the mid-terms, the Trump regime will have to be extremely lucky to survive intact. There was an interesting piece in this morning's Sydney Morning Herald about the unusually tumultuous week this has been for the White House. There's even talk that a faction of Republican Representatives are willing to break ranks and vote with the Dems on impeachment if Trump fires Mueller. Apparently he has been warned rather forcefully.

And now, with John Bolton's first week as National Security Advisor, Trump has suddenly decided to pardon Bolton's old neocon soulmate, Scooter Libby. What a coincidence, eh?

Now it's Trump himself musing about getting America back into the Trans Pacific Partnership, reversing the one cardinal action for which the Gullibillies worship him.

It's about time for another round of indictments from Bob Mueller.

Owen Gray said...

You can be sure that they're coming down, Mound. I read that Michael Cohen is going to court to protect what Mueller seized. And in that treasure chest there are -- reportedly -- audio tapes. Shades of Nixon?

The Mound of Sound said...

Trump's attack on Comey recalls Harper's abortive attack on then Supreme Court chief justice, Bev McLaughlin. Harper started a credibility battle with the Chief Justice and the blowback was fearsome. Trump is more arrogant and delusional than Harper and far more sullied. Why does he want to break himself on the wheel of James Comey unless he has become mortally desperate?

Owen Gray said...

Trump doesn't think anything through, Mound. His approach to the world is totally visceral. So far, he's been able to blame his failures on others -- and a significant number of people have kept investing -- not in his company -- but in him.

Comey's probe will prove that Trump runs a family business -- in the same sense that the Mafia is a family business.

e.a.f. said...

the old mob bosses were bad guys, but they weren't in the W.H. and they were clear what business they were in. They may have also had a tad more loyalty to others than Trump does. They were smarter than Trump and tougher. Given the choice as to who to have over to dinner, mob boss: better table manners.

Owen Gray said...

Despite their flaws, Mario Puzo saw a certain nobility in the Coreleones' loyalty to family, e.a.f. The difference between Puzo's characters and Trump is that Trump recognizes only one loyalty -- loyalty to him. He does not return loyalty to anybody.