“We’re in the land of absurdity.”
That’s how author and journalist Michael Wolff describes the chaotic environment surrounding Donald Trump right now. Wolff went on CNN this week to share excerpts from his new book, Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency, including interactions he had with the former president and his staff when he visited Mar-A-Lago immediately after the 2020 presidential election. Wolff, who told CNN anchor John Berman that his plan when interviewing Trump post-election was to pretend to believe the president’s claims of voter fraud so that he wouldn’t get shut down by his team, revealed that even when Trump was presented with someone who appeared to subscribe to his “Big Lie” theory, he still couldn’t give any evidence to back it up.
“He just sort of fell back on this weird math that he has,” Wolff said. “What you find yourself in is a conversation with someone who lives in a separate reality.”
According to Wolff (via Raw Story), who interviewed numerous staffers for his book as well, even those closest to the former president don’t buy into his many conspiracy theories surrounding the election. In fact, the only person who seemed to enable Trump’s paranoid delusions about ballot theft and a coordinated effort from Democrats to undermine election integrity is none other than Rudy Giuliani — a man most people in Trump’s inner circle, including Trump himself, don’t particularly like.
Wolff says that Giuliani, who is “most of the time, frankly, drunk” is the most “toxic” influence on the former president, though both men are “untethered” from reality at this point and “neither are in control of their faculties”. “It’s these two men, both of them in their own way, having departed reality, who have been at the center of this country for the last four years,” he said.
He paints a fairly humiliating portrait of the former New York City mayor, calling Giuliani “a man who can’t stand the fact that he was pushed out, that he’s a non-player, over the hill, he didn’t become president, his career petered out, and because of this he was willing to do anything, willing to say anything.” And he describes the former friendship between the two men as fairly transactional:
“Trump would go around saying, ‘Rudy is drunk. Rudy falls asleep. Rudy should be put out to pasture,'” Wolff detailed. “But it doesn’t make any difference, because if Rudy was the only person — and in many cases, he was — the only person saying what the president wanted to hear, he’s back in, he’s running the show.”
Of course, after Giuliani failed to win any of the dozens of cases Trump’s “legal strike force” brought against state voting bodies and tech companies like Dominion Voting Systems, the former president kicked him to the curb but both men continue to deliver unhinged rants about voter fraud and government conspiracies from their separate bunkers. This might be why Wolff decided to write his book in the first place. Yes, these men are harebrained narcissists willing to sacrifice our democracy for attention and clout, but they’re still dangerous in their own way. Constantly reminding people that they are, in fact, lunatics might be the most effective strategy to fight against them.