Afternoon in Elba

High level meeting

Former President Donald Trump met House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Thursday for what was later described as a “very good and cordial” meeting in which the top agenda item was taking back the House of Representatives in 2022.

Although many topics were discussed, according to a readout released by Trump’s Save America leadership PAC, the chief focus was on the upcoming midterm elections...

The meeting took place at Trump’s resort in Palm Beach, where he frequently visited as president and has taken up his post-presidency residence…

“Today, President Trump committed to helping elect Republicans in the House and Senate in 2022,” [McCarthy] said. “A Republican majority will listen to our fellow Americans and solve the challenges facing our nation.”
Politico, Jan. 28

[A room very much like the hideosity pictured in McCarthy’s press release, but with far fewer furnishings — just a gigantic bed, unmade, with a bedside table with Diet Coke cans, two unlabeled plastic nasal spray bottles, a TV remote, and a sleep mask; a gigantic TV on one wall; along the walls, some straight-back chairs and one ornate sofa; and at the end of the room, a large, throne-like chair, made of heavy wood covered with gilt and fluffy silk cushions, and a little wooden bench in front of it. TRUMP, wearing the suit in the picture, sits on the throne playing with his iPhone. Rep. McCARTHY, dressed as in the photo, is being led up to TRUMP, along a lengthy red runner, by JULIO, a 60-year-old Cuban-American flunky who looks like Akim Tamiroff and is dressed like a casino greeter. It is a long walk and TRUMP is oblivious, so there is time for JULIO and McCARTHY to talk.]

JULIO: [Whispering] He does not like to be contradicted, which you know, but it has become more important to him.

McCARTHY: More important? I don’t see how.

JULIO: You do not wish to find out.

[They had reached the bench. McCARTHY stands in front of it. He looks at JULIO, who nods.]

McCARTHY: Mr. President, good to see you again.

TRUMP: [Still looking at his phone, after a beat] Sit.

[McCARTHY does. JULIO stands to the side. Long pause. TRUMP looks up.]

You find the place okay?

McCARTHY: Fine, Mr. President. You’re looking very well, sir.

TRUMP: You’d look good too if you had my life.

McCARTHY: I’m sure I would, sir.

TRUMP: Had a girl this morning, you wouldn’t believe. Not cold like the city girls. It’s like they really want it. You get the full girlfriend experience. It’s beautiful.

McCARTHY: Sounds fantastic, sir, it really does.

TRUMP: Well, I know you didn’t come down here for a piece of ass.

McCARTHY: No, sir, I didn’t.

TRUMP: Though I know you wouldn't mind.

McCARTHY: Ha ha, you know me too well, sir.

TRUMP: So what’s it about.

McCARTHY: Well, sir, I just wanted to reassure our people because they’re scared out of their minds that you'll do this Patriot Party thing.

TRUMP: That’d fuck 'em up good.

McCARTHY: Oh, you know it, sir.

TRUMP: You wouldn’t like it either.

McCARTHY: I go with the flow. If you can’t give your assurance, I’ll just tell them that and they can deal with it.

TRUMP: You don’t care?

McCARTHY: I can handle it.

TRUMP: C’mon, Mac, don’t play games.

McCARTHY: I respect your independence. It’s what people love about you. If you want to go third party I’d say, good luck and may the best man win.

[Pause.]

TRUMP: Sir.

McCARTHY: Excuse me?

TRUMP: “Sir” is what you call me or “Mr. President.”

McCARTHY: Of course, Mr. President.

TRUMP: I gotta have respect.

McCARTHY: Of course, sir, you’ve earned it.

TRUMP: [Getting hotter, slowly, as he goes] The difference, see — the difference between here and the White House, it’s night and day. In Washington no one gimme respect. They said yes sir no sir, they held the door, but you could always see, in their face or their voice. Here, it’s a first class operation. Good morning, Mr. Trump. Shall I bring your breakfast, Mr. Trump. The driver is here, Mr. Trump. And the girls, they’re whores but not so’s you'd know. I don’t make them call me Mr. President because you people poisoned it for me. Couldn’t even enjoy it. After everything I did for you, you’d be out on your fucking ass without me, and now look, 20, 30 in the House I got you, all those people, they killed for me, did you see that? They’d kill you too if I said the word. You wanna be on the right side of this thing. You don’t wanna be on the wrong side. Get on the right side and you could have it all, you could win it all in 22 and then the White House and everything after, you can have it all but first you gotta have me!

[Pause. TRUMP is glowing red. JULIO goes to the throne, takes a white cloth out of his pocket and wipes TRUMP’s face. TRUMP takes an unlabeled inhaler out of his jacket pocket and squirts it up one nostril, then the other.]

McCARTHY: I’m sure you know that if you remain with the party you will have every consideration. Total support right down the line. And —

[McCARTHY looks at JULIO, who is returning to the sidelines, then to TRUMP.]

If I may, sir, I would like to talk confidentially.

TRUMP: Don’t worry about Julio, he don’t speak English. [To JULIO] Isn’t that right, Julio? No apprende Ingles, that right?

[JULIO smiles a little, shrugs.]

See? Go ahead.

McCARTHY: Well, sir, you and I have talked about your issues with the New York Attorney General’s office. I can tell you now that those problems can go away.

TRUMP: You got no juice up there.

McCARTHY: Our friends in the NYPD say they have the problem well in hand.

TRUMP: Huh, you don’t say. So, what, you’d whack her, plant drugs?

McCARTHY: The problem is well in hand.

TRUMP: So you say.

McCARTHY: Let me be frank, sir. We all know you’re the people’s choice. But there’s a big difference between the People’s Choice Award and the Oscar. To win the Oscar you need connections. And we’re the best connection you could have. Just say what you want and we do it for you. You don’t have to do a thing. You don’t even have to leave Mar-a-Lago. Hell, if you run in 2024? We could make this place the seat of government.

TRUMP: Now I know you’re bullshitting me.

McCARTHY: Stranger things have happened. Mr. President.

[Pause.]

TRUMP: Okay, count me in.

McCARTHY: Thank you, sir. Thank you very much. I hope that sounded sincere.

TRUMP: I’ve heard worse.

[McCARTHY reaches inside his jacket and pulls out a piece of paper. TRUMP punches buttons on his phone.]

McCARTHY: I have statement for the press about our understanding, sir, that —

TRUMP: Just give it to Frank in the front office. I don’t read anymore. Waste of energy. Keep it in mind when I run again.

McCARTHY: That’s terrific, sir. Now if we could have a photo for the folks back —

[A golf cart zips up to the throne. Two GIRLS wearing bikinis and peaked nurse’s caps get out and help TRUMP stand up and get into the cart.]

TRUMP: Way ahead of you, Mac. How do you like this. Say hi to the Congressman, girls.

GIRLS: Hi!

TRUMP: Girls, I want you to take me to the Morocco room, over by the tapestry thing.

GIRLS: Yes, sir, Mr. Trump!

GIRL 1: Mr. Trump, can I ride in the back with you, pleeeeease?

TRUMP: Is it your turn? Then you bet you can, sweetheart. [To McCARTHY] See what I mean?

[The cart, with TRUMP in the back, starts to move.]

Just run behind us, Mac. It’s not far.

[The cart takes off. TRUMP bellows in the manner of Jackie Gleason:]

HOW SWEET IT IS!

[McCARTHY starts to walk behind. JULIO rushes and catches up with him.]

JULIO: Mr. McCarthy? I wonder if you’d be interested in some pictures of Mr. Trump having sex with children.

McCARTHY: Save it, we’ve got plenty.

[McCARTHY keeps walking; JULIO stands, miffed, with his fists on his hips a moment, them heads off in a different direction. FADE OUT.]