Trump’s election campaign and subsequent presidency have so far been marked with more scandals, controversies and big-time reveals than a dozen seasons of an HBO show. Littered with colorful characters, the man’s administration has been a revolving door of slimy figureheads angling for power and willing to do almost anything to acquire it. It’s fascinating stuff, and might actually be somewhat enjoyable if it didn’t involve our real country and with real, global stakes.
Bloomberg journalist Joshua Green took early note of how the narrative potential of Trump—and, more specifically, Chief Strategist Steve Bannon—and decided to write a book about the whole thing. The result is Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency. As expected, the nonfiction book is loaded with behind-the-scenes looks at the most fascinating political partnership in recent memory.
There are several, compelling stories in the book, but there are a few that truly stand out. For example, Chris Christie was essentially fired from the Trump campaign when, on election night, Christie offered to use his own phone to field a congratulatory call from Obama. Trump was having none of that and reportedly screamed, “You know my number, just give it to the President, I don’t want your f*ing phone.” Apparently, he was afraid of Chris Christie’s germs which… seems sort of reasonable. This incident created a rift between the two that led to Christie’s eventual firing.
Similarly, Manafort was fired after reports were released that suggested Trump aides went on TV to do interviews with the sole purpose of catching the attention of their boss who watched extensive amounts of cable news. An irate Trump brought in Manafort and yelled at him, “You think you’ve gotta go on TV to talk to me? You treat me like a baby… Am I like a baby to you? I sit there like a little baby and watch TV and you talk to me? Am I a f*ing baby, Paul?” Evidently the room fell silent as Manafort carefully considered whether to tell Trump that, yeah, everybody thinks he’s a baby.
Primarily, though, the book focuses on Steve Bannon and his influence. Fascinated by the honey badger’s ruthlessness, Bannon is quoted as telling Trump in response to criticism from the likes of the Anti-Defamation League that, “Darkness is good. Don’t let up.” Sounds like a good dude.
The book officially released today. Check it out on Amazon here.