The testimony given on January 6 before the House committee has often been unreliable, mostly because Donald Trump was actually trying to do so despite all available facts and the majority of reasonable recommendations from sane people. Anyone with an open mind may see the richness of spirit surrounding it.
However, it gets even more painful when we have to listen to stories about Trump hissing and hurting, his tantrums turning into retaliation, like an immature, petulant high school student.
None of this behavior should come as a surprise because Donald John Trump has clearly proven to everyone around him and, in fact, to everyone, just who he is: a shameless man-boy who uses deceit and lying to get an edge and enjoys bullying others, while bleating how others treat him unfairly because they accurately point out that he is a liar, a cheat and a bully.
It is a human Mobius group that uses deception, false information, and theft to benefit himself.
While it was shocking to hear that Trump allegedly threw White House lunches and dinners against the wall or on the floor, or on his henchmen’s alleged efforts to sway witnesses, mob style, it wasn’t exactly surprising because we’ve always known that Trump was happy to encourage violence among his supporters.
While Cassidy Hutchinson’s bombshell testimony is getting all the attention, let’s remember the Jan. 5 hearing where Trump tried to intimidate Mike Pence.
The January 6 committee has discussed in its meetings thus far. Cassidy Hutchinson, a former White House employee, gave startling testimony during the surprise hearing on June 28. While everyone and their uncle is talking about it, Let’s not forget the discussion about Trump’s relationship with his fanatical vice president, whom Trump was willing to see hanged outside the Capitol by the armed mob he had gathered in Washington and incited into a rage.
On January 5, 2021, on the eve of You Know What, Trump apparently pressured the veep to perform his offer in his usual mature manner during a meeting with Mike Pence and John Eastman, the creatively ployed lawyer who later only questioned this pardon: : “You can either go down in history as a patriot or go down in history as an asshole.” (We don’t know if White House china ended up on the floor during this encounter.)
When Pence correctly responded that he had no constitutional authority to stop or reject certification of electoral votes, according to Bob Woodward and Robert Costa’s “Peril” account, Trump tried to appeal to an untapped teenage side within the pious Hoosier, asking him, “But wouldn’t it be almost cool to have that power?”
While it might be a stretch to refer to Mike Pence as a hero, it appears that discussions with former vice president Dan Quayle and retired federal judge J. Michael Luttig (guy of the exceedingly slow responses) had hardened his spine and he continued to resist. When Pence remained still, Trump showed his heavy guns, threatening to sever his friendship with him in horror.
“No no no! Shouted Trump, according to the authors. “You don’t understand, Mike. You can do it. I don’t want to be your friend anymore if you don’t do this.” We all recall Rachel McAdams’ portrayal of Queen Bee in Tina Fey’s “Mean Girls” in 2004. She wouldn’t have been that pathetically blunt about it, but he would definitely use her “friendship” to his advantage in order to manipulate others.
But in the pivotal meeting with Pence, Mean Girl Trump drew more cards than just that. When Pence refused to cooperate with Trump’s plan to overthrow the Constitution and annul the outcome of a fair election, the president-elect appealed to his followers on social media, in speeches, and in any other way he could think of to “expose” Pence and put more pressure on him to “do the right thing.” Furthermore, he continued to say this after he must have realized that Pence was in real physical danger on Capitol Hill.
Ivanka, the daughter of the former president, and others who worked inside the White House claimed that Trump called Pence the morning of the rebellion and called him a “wimp” and a “pussy” in a heated final chat.
Through it all, Trump’s biggest concern was that he may come off as a loser. The president has told several people in private that he would rather lose with people believing it was stolen from him than he just lost, according to people familiar with his remarks, The New York Times reports. The day before Trump and his numerous co conspirators in the West Wing, in the Willard Hotel “war room,” and in the Capitol itself launched the insurrection for real.
High school is so-so. And in case “Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican congressmen” wasn’t enough for you, there was also the knowledge that what he was doing was based on a lie. Trump always intended to claim that the 2020 election was rigged if he lost. In the views of his followers, he started to sabotage the election process during the 2016 primaries and again after Hillary Clinton defeated him by over 3 million votes in the popular vote.
Trump also knew that his massive lie about voter fraud gave him another opportunity for fraud, as we heard from the committee hearings. According to reports, he received $250 million from his supporters for a fake election defense Fund (which was supposed to investigate nonexistent voter fraud), emailing his small donors dozens of times a day.
People in my generation continue to hold out hope that younger people will intervene and save us from ourselves. Cassidy Hutchinson, a well-spoken 25-year-old, did exactly that. Her decision to expose the truth about what she had saw and heard in Trump’s White House Mafia social club was extremely daring. (It is also reasonable to inquire as to what she initially believed she was doing there.)
The most important takeaway from these hearings so far is that the former US president still believes it may be “cool” to undermine democracy, and if you don’t want to accept that, he most definitely won’t be your buddy. More and might even incite his supporters to take advantage of you.
As longtime White House reporter and Salon writer Brian Karem recently observed, this dangerous cruel girl needs to finally pay for her crimes if our democracy is to survive. The arrest of Trump and his supporters would just be the first, but most important, step in our country’s recovery. By reminding them that “being our friend” is not part of the job, this could make sure that future presidents do not follow his example.