Donald Trump continued his dance with open white supremacy during the spring of 2016 over my objections. But Trump was heading my advice in another area.
"David, let's talk about our proposals for an ObamaCare replacement. I'd love to be able to cover every American," Trump said.
"Don't worry about policy Donny," I answered.
During my time working with Herman Cain, I had tried to teach him foreign policy. It was a disaster. He tried his best, but he came across as ill-informed. Add some allegations of sexual harassment and his candidacy was done. Though Trump was more interested in the wonky side of policy debates, he had an elementary knowledge of the issues, as do most people without experience in government. I decided we wouldn't make the same mistakes as Cain. Instead, we wouldn't even pretend Trump knew the first thing about policy.
"But David, I need something to say when they ask about health care. Right now, I've got nothing. I only talk about repealing ObamaCare. The media is questioning my credibility."
"Forget about that shit," I said. I cussed a lot because, unlike most professions, people in politics cussed a lot. It gave the cusser a feeling of self-importance. The more cussing, the more self-important.
"What about discussing interstate state trade in the context of health care reform," Trump asked.
"No one gives a fuck about that shit in a Republican fucking primary. But whatever, Donny. Just dumb that shit down."
That's when Trump came up with "the lines" line whenever he was asked about health care. I tried to shield him from other things that past presidential candidates absolutely had to know to be considered viable. He was clueless about the nuclear triad. He didn't even really know how a bill became a law or the basic responsibilities of the president. When he would say something stupid about any of the above, the media would mock him, liberals would snicker, and the Republican base lust more and more for Trump.
He maintained his delegate lead throughout the spring. But two things worried me even more than the explicit white supremacy. Trump kept threatening violence at his rallies and the people around him kept taking weird meetings with Russian officials.
Out on stage, Trump's machismo would get out of hand. We had talked about feeding off the crowd and saying ridiculous shit to see if his fans had a line. They didn't. But telling his supporters to punch protesters could be viewed as inciting violence. We didn't need him to get arrested. Things were going well and the reaction to a potential charge was unknown.
As for Russia, his shit-for-brains son and son-in-law had these moronic meetings with Putin's people. They thought it would be insurance against Hillary. I thought it was a catch 22. If we lost the general, Trump probably wouldn't get in trouble for it, but we would lose. If we won, this Russia shit would hang over him like a nuclear cloud. There was no upside to it. And Trump Jr. and Kushner were really stupid in their dealings with the Russians. They would be caught for sure. I tried to get Donny to stop both. He said he would. But you know what happened...