Politics - News Analysis

Author of a New Book on Trump Says Ex-Prez’s Memory Is So Bad it’s Terrifying, ‘He Had This Vacant Look’

Well, duh.

Ramin Setoodeh, an editor-in-chief for Variety magazine, interviewed the former president six times for his upcoming book Apprentice in Wonderland, the story of how Trump’s reality show was basically the whole reason that a failure like Trump could ever become the leader of the free world.

In fact, he went on at length on MSNBC’s Morning Joe about it:

“This is the reason why Donald Trump became president of the United States. This is the reason why he is now the nominee and could become president of the United States again. I think the important thing about this book, what I want everyone to know, it is based on a lot of access to Donald Trump. I interviewed him starting in 2021. I, as a journalist, spent more time with him than any other journalist since he left the White House on the record. We talked a total of six times, we were sitting together in the board room at Trump Tower watching clips of ‘The Apprentice’ together. And yes, this is the show and the warped reality we all live in, but it is also a president in exile.”

Then Setoodeh sounded a little darker note, telling his host Joe Scarborough that the reality star was still hung up even on a perceived slight from 6 years before he even began interviewing him:

“Trump’s mental temperament after the White House, his fixation on revenge – Joe, he’s still fixated on you. He spoke in detail about an interview you did in 2015. Lawrence O’Donnell was questioning how much money he made off ‘The Apprentice.’ Most presidents post-presidency are thinking of happier thoughts, moving on with their life, but he was remembering every negative thing anyone said. This book is also a warning. Donald Trump knows how to use the media. He’s never been taken out. People keep saying, ‘Okay, Trump era is over,’ but he won’t leave because he is a reality star. Reality stars really know how to captivate their audience.”

The thing about the time period in which Setoodeh was interviewing Trump is that it was after he was out of office. So he got a look into the actual man himself, instead of the tough guy he portrayed while he was in the White House.

And like many do with a good reporter, he let his weaknesses slip.

“I got to know Donald Trump post-presidency, got to see what he was like. Over the weekend, he was talking about how Joe Biden needs to take a cognitive test, Joe Biden isn’t all there. Donald Trump had severe memory issues. As the journalist who spent the most time with him, I have to say, he couldn’t remember things. He couldn’t even remember me. We spent an hour together in 2021 in May, then a few months later, I went back to … Trump Tower to talk about his time in the White House. I said, you know, he had this vacant look. I said, do you remember me? He said no. He had no recollection of the lengthy interview we had, and he wasn’t doing a lot of interviews at that time. The American public really needs to see this portrait of Donald Trump. This shows what he is like and who he is and who he has always been.”

And it’s true — I’ve said in multiple articles that Trump was putting on a show. That, right up until he realized he could successfully bilk Republicans out of their money, he was an anti-gun, pro-choice guy who invited the Clintons to his wedding to Melania and donated to Democrats to try and put politicians in his pocket.

Much of this was easy to tell. But it’s validating that it’s going to be in print.

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meet the author

Andrew is a dark blue speck in deep red Central Washington, writing with the conviction of 18 years at the keyboard and too much politics to even stand. When not furiously stabbing the keys on breaking news stories, he writes poetry, prose, essays, haiku, lectures, stories for grief therapy, wedding ceremonies, detailed instructions on making doughnuts from canned biscuit dough (more sugar than cinnamon — duh), and equations to determine the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow. A girlfriend, a dog, two cats, and two birds round out the equation, and in his spare time, Drewbear likes to imagine what it must be like to have spare time.


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