A Star is born

Killer instinct

[The Oval Office. DONALD TRUMP sits at his desk in golf clothes, fiddling with his phone. DONALD TRUMP, JR., dressed in an absurd pinstripe suit that looks like it was designed for a musical about Roger Stone, and with bright orange athletic shoes, is on a couch hoovering rails of coke off a mirror like it’s his last night of freedom; his girlfriend KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, dressed like Jennifer Lawrence in Red Sparrow, sits cheerfully next to him, one arm along the back of the couch behind JUNIOR, the other drumming her thigh, her eyes darting back and forth between him and the coke; Chief of Staff MIKE MEADOWS, in a business suit damp at the armpits, stands near TRUMP with a grin fixed on his face like The Joker in old Batman comics. ]

TRUMP: Okay, we got the kid here?

MEADOWS: Sir.

TRUMP: What are you lookin’ at me for? We got him or not?

MEADOWS: [Still smiling, but his eyes have a wild fear in them] Sir, yes but maybe you know we can reconsider, it’s a good idea certainly but maybe now is not to right time, because it’s just politics, sir, just for the election, and even your friends, sir, you can ask them, ask any of them sir, please —

TRUMP: What the fuck is wrong with you? [Turns to JUNIOR] You believe this guy? Took him out of the Congress for this and now look, he’s cracking up.

[JUNIOR’s head falls back on the couch; he twitches a bit. GUILFOYLE cheerfully strokes his crotch, looks at the coke.]

Oh Jeez. [Raises his voice at JUNIOR] This was your idea! [Normal voice] Doesn’t matter. Mike, get the kid. Chop chop.

[MEADOWS withdraws. GUILFOYLE surreptitiously takes the straw from JUNIOR’s hand and bows over his crotch to get the rest of the coke. TRUMP cranes his neck.]

What are you, sucking his cock over there? Jesus Christ.

GUILFOYLE: [Sitting up, wiping her nose] No, sir! Just dropped a contact lens.

TRUMP: Act like a lady. We got a kid coming in.

[MEADOWS comes in with KYLE RITTENHOUSE, 17-year-old incel murderer of two protestors in Kenosha, Wisconsin. RITTENHOUSE, looking younger than 17 and as if he might cry at any moment, is dressed like a state trooper — light brown shirt, dark brown pants, trooper hat — except for the insignia and other official accoutrement.]

TRUMP: Hey, here he is. [Stands] Heard a lot about you. Mark, go clean up Junior over there.

[MEADOWS, still grinning ferociously, goes to the couch; JUNIOR is by now sitting up, blinking and twitching and looking vacantly at his phone, and GUILFOYLE has the coke mirror, which she is disinclined to give to MEADOWS until she has finished with it; MEADOWS, eyes widening still further, shoots looks over his shoulder at TRUMP, who has waddled over to RITTENHOUSE.]

So, I hear you took care of things in Kenosha, huh.

RITTENHOUSE: I’m, I’m not supposed to talk about that except with my lawyer, sir.

TRUMP: Ah, c’mon, this is your President. When you shot that guy in the head, did it explode, like in the movies.

[TRUMP makes an exploding noise, raises his hands and flexes his fingers; RITTENHOUSE draws back a little.]

RITTENHOUSE: Well, uh, it happened pretty quickly, sir, I didn’t, I mean I saw the blood and him fall down, that’s how I knew —

TRUMP: Blood flew, right? Like it spattered?

RITTENHOUSE: I, I guess it was a spatter, sir.

[JUNIOR gets up, strutting around with his chest out, gets a cigar from his pocket and lights it. MEADOWS waits patiently for GUILFOYLE to finish the coke.]

TRUMP: Atta boy. So you were just doing what you were supposed to, right? Just like a neighbor helping out.

RITTENHOUSE: Yes, yes sir, because I went to that rally you had in Des Moines, and I heard what you said —

TRUMP: Yeah, well, we don’t have to say everything that happened, okay? ‘Scuse me.

[To JUNIOR.]

Junior, this isn’t a strip club, put the goddamn cigar out.

[To RITTENHOUSE]

This is my no-good son Don Junior.

[RITTENHOUSE puts out his hand, but JUNIOR is busy putting his cigar out on the heel of his own athletic shoe.]

Jesus, that smells even worse! [To RITTENHOUSE] I wish I had a kid like you, you know, clean, well brought-up, knows his p’s and q’s.

[JUNIOR, moody but jittery, puts the extinguished cigar in his jacket pocket.]

Not that we spared any expense. Look at him. Nothing but white ladies taking care of him. But look what he turned into.

RITTENHOUSE: [Putting his hand out again to JUNIOR] Great speech the other night, Mr. Trump Junior.

JUNIOR: [Poking himself in the chest] Listen you little faggot, I’m the Number One Son, you got it? [Fake Chinese accent] Me Son Numma One! Numma One Son! Me me me! [Leans in on RITTENHOUSE] So don’t fuck around, loser.

[JUNIOR turns on his heel, goes wandering around, cracking his knuckles and rolling his shoulders.]

TRUMP: [To RITTENHOUSE] All the advantages. You believe it? Look, Eddie, we’re gonna put you TV.

RITTENHOUSE: Oh, OK. Kyle.

TRUMP: Kyle? Who’s Kyle?

RITTENHOUSE: That’s my name, sir.

TRUMP: I know that. We’re gonna put you on TV. We got this fella, Stephen Miller, tremendous fella. When he talks about Hitler just ignore him. He’s gonna help you work up a speech and you’re gonna memorize it and we’re gonna take you around the country.

RITTENHOUSE: Oh — but —

TRUMP: Don’t worry about your Mom and Dad, you’ll see them later. You’re gonna stay at the Trump Hotel. Beautiful suite. Hey, it better be for what we’re charging these assholes, right, Mark?

[TRUMP looks over and sees MEADOWS trying to wrestle the mirror from GUILFOYLE, who is attempting to lick it.]

[Roaring] Get that fucking whore out of here, goddamn it! [To RITTENHOUSE] Can you believe it? I don’t know where they get these people. Obama. She came in with Obama. I don’t why she’s still here.

[MEADOWS has the mirror; GUILFOYLE stands and, hands in the air, starts dancing to unheard music with JUNIOR.]

[To RITTENHOUSE] It’s a mess and that’s why we need — [Yells] Hey, everybody listen up!

[Everyone stops and pays attention.]

See, this is what’s wrong with this stupid country. You’re all friggin’ and frugin’ like a bunch of assholes and this kid here goes out there like a Boy Scout, goes to the riot and shoots a bunch of coons.

RITTENHOUSE: [Shyly] I — I think they were white, sir.

TRUMP: Yeah? Okay, still. He shot them and he killed them, and not like you, Junior, where you hit some broad over the head with a champagne bottle in a club and we have to hush it up, costs us plenty. I mean, this kid went out there and killed ‘em face to face! So here’s what we’re gonna do, we’re gonna put him up on stage, and let me tell you, not like those assholes from St. Louis sitting in their fucking living room like Ma and Pa Kettle, we’re gonna put him out there so he can wave his gun around like a goddamn hero! Right, kid?

RITTENHOUSE: Sure thing, Mr. President! In fact —

[Grinning proudly, RITTENHOUSE pulls a pistol from his pants pocket.]

— surprise, I have one with me!

MEADOWS: [Screaming] GUN!

[Immediately a dozen SECRET SERVICE AGENTS rush in and tackle and dogpile RITTENHOUSE. TRUMP and MEADOWS stare; JUNIOR shadow boxes excitedly; GUILFOYLE joins the dogpile, humping one AGENT, until she is bucked off.]

GUILFOYLE: TRASH!

TRUMP: Junior, get her out of here.

[JUNIOR and GUILFOYLE leave. The AGENTS get up and carry the unconscious RITTENHOUSE out of the room.]

[To the AGENTS] Go easy on him, fellas. He’s going back to the hotel. Presidential suite. [To MEADOWS] When he comes to, we’ll tell him it was a fire drill. [Notices MEADOWS is still grinning] Jesus, knock it off with the smiling, will ya? You’re making me sick.

MEADOW: [Still grinning furiously] You told me it depressed you when I relaxed, sir.

TRUMP: Oh, yeah. Hey, Junior gimme an appetite. Get me the box.

[TRUMP crosses back to his desk and sits, pulling a small mirror out of a drawer and a straw out of his pocket. MEADOWS crosses to the breakfront with the box containing Trump’s “formula.” As he reaches the breakfront:]

MEADOWS: I want to die.

TRUMP: Play your cards right and I’ll let you.

[MEADOWS gets the box and, still grinning, brings it to TRUMP as the CURTAIN falls.]