Yeah, I know. “Anonymous sources! FAKE NEWS!” Hopefully the president knows better than to tell anyone that the country’s most storied home, where Lincoln managed the Civil War and FDR oversaw Hitler’s downfall, is a “dump.” Remember, though, the guy’s a billionaire who used to live in a Manhattan penthouse; his standard of living is higher than most new presidents’. And if Golf Magazine is to believed, he made this comment to members at one of his clubs — i.e. other very wealthy people. When you’re that rich and talking to a bunch of millionaires, you practically have to call the White House a dump compared to what you’re used to, just to keep up appearances.
Plus, don’t forget: The White House is government housing built on a swamp. It’s a dump practically by definition.
During election season, Bedminster morphed into a kind of permanent campaign rally site. Trump posters and bumper stickers were plastered across the property, and an anti-Hillary shrine was built in a bar in the men’s locker room. The club held a Ryder Cup–style competition in which the teams wore either red or black make america great again hats. At most other golf courses in America the TV is tuned to Golf Channel, on mute, but throughout last summer and fall, the television in Trump Bedminster’s shop was on Fox News, with the sound blaring. As President, Trump has already made four visits to the club. He has his own cottage adjacent to the pool; it was recently given a secure perimeter by the Secret Service, leading to the inevitable joke that it’s the only wall Trump has successfully built. Chatting with some members before a recent round of golf, he explained his frequent appearances: “That White House is a real dump.” Trump is often at his most unguarded among the people who pay for their proximity to him. Last November, the President-elect hosted a cocktail reception and dinner at Bedminster on the same weekend that he was holding interviews at the club with candidates for his Cabinet. At the dinner, Trump addressed the members of the club by saying, “This is my real group. You are the special people. I see all of you. I recognize, like, 100% of you, just about.” Then he issued an open invitation to drop in on his Cabinet interviews the next day.
I bet the White House doesn’t even have a classy gold-plated toilet, like certain unnamed hyper-gilded New York towers undoubtedly do. Needless to say, if Obama was alleged to have made this comment — even by anonymous sources — we in conservative media would have spent this week shattin’ in our pantaloons, to borrow a phrase from the future senator from Michigan. As it is, it’ll be fun if Trump lets the story linger for 24 hours and then confirms it, just to watch the spin shift from “he’d never say something like this” to “of course it’s a dump.” A key part of the debate to come:
Trump’s demeaning of Priebus came through in other ways, too. At one point, during a meeting in the Oval Office, a fly began buzzing overhead, distracting the president. As the fly continued to circle, Trump summoned his chief of staff and tasked him with killing the insect, according to someone familiar with the incident. (The West Wing has a regular fly problem.)
It’s a dump, and I think we all know who’s to blame. That’ll be another key part of the debate.
Exit question: Why didn’t he keep Scaramooch around to class the joint up a bit, fancy-like, with renovations? He’s a fabulously rich Manhattanite too. He would have known how to realize a tasteful “Louis XIV by way of Saddam” look.