On Saturday, Politico released audio it obtained of President Trump romancing rich golf people at at his club in Bedminster, New Jersey this past November. The kicker comes when Trump tries enticing his audience with the chance to observe his cabinet member selection process. Here are the highlights of that hard sell, from Politico’s article:
“We’re doing a lot of interviews tomorrow — generals, dictators, we have everything.”
“You may wanna come around. It’ll be fun. We’re really working tomorrow. We have meetings every 15, 20 minutes with different people that will form our government.”
“We’re going to be interviewing everybody — Treasury, we’re going to be interviewing Secretary of State,” he continued. “We have everybody coming in — if you want to come around, it’s going to be unbelievable….so you might want to come along.”
This offer sounds extremely boring, but, then again, people who play golf a lot might enjoy sitting through several high-powered business meetings on their days off. But just in case the 100 or so club members in attendance were feeling bashful about taking the (then incoming) president up on his offer, Trump assured them that they are, “the special people.” Meanwhile, I’d like to visit a golf course just to take advantage of 18 unique ways to scream into the earth.
Politico sent a copy of the tape to the White House on Friday but did not receive comment. After the story was posted on Saturday morning, White House deputy press secretary Sarah Sanders claimed the remarks were presented out of context, saying the president was merely describing the meetings. Nonetheless, the context for the remarks is an unblemished 13-minute recording and Trump does extend the invitation.
Nor does this anecdote clash in the slightest with what journalists have been able to discover about President Trump’s general comportment at his clubs recently. As Politico notes, Trump is spending his third straight weekend at his Palm Beach resort and “Winter White House” Mar-a-Lago, which the New York Times just today described in an investigation as, “a kind of Washington steakhouse on steroids…where members and their guests enjoy a level of access that could elude even the best-connected of lobbyists.”
That same New York Times report, published on Saturday, found that the 500 paying Mar-a-Lago member include, “dozens of real estate developers, Wall Street financiers, energy executives and others whose businesses could be affected by Mr. Trump’s policies. At least three club members are under consideration for an ambassadorship.”
It’s kind of like the government is one giant corporate board meeting, and me and everyone I love are the chairs.