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Live from New York! Trump Bootlickers on Parade

Bill Press, Tribune Content Agency on

Let’s say you’re a producer for“ Saturday Night Live” and you want to put together a skit lampooning the parade of shameless sycophants showing up at Donald Trump’s trial. You couldn’t come up with a better – or worse – display of buffoonery than we saw this week.

To qualify as a true Trumper – or to make the list of potential vice-president candidates – it’s no longer enough to agree that Trump won the 2020 election. The mandatory new Trump loyalty test is actually showing up in the courtroom and sitting behind the Orange Man in seats reserved for family and friends. For two reasons. One, to assure the insecure and paranoid Donald that there’s still somebody out there who loves him. Two, to walk out of the courtroom and spew to the media all the lies Donald has scripted for them, but which the judge’s gag order prevents him from saying himself.

For T he Donald, that was especially important on Tuesday, May 14, when Michael Cohen, the prosecution’s most damaging witness, was scheduled to testify. So, dutifully, having jettisoned any self-respect, backbone, or common sense, four of his most loyal acolytes showed up to lick his boots in public: North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, former presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, and Florida Representatives Byron Donalds and Cory Mills.

But wait! Being part of a cult means dressing alike. So they also all showed up sporting T he Donald’s favorite uniform: navy-blue suit and red tie – or, as someone noted on X, wearing “matching clown uniforms.” Again, watching the four of them standing at the microphone wearing the exact same outfits was worthy of “Saturday Night Live.”

Of course, with Donald, loyalty’s a one-way street. So he rewarded their display of puppy-dog loyalty in red ties by showing up on Tuesday for the first time wearing a yellow tie.

OK. We can all laugh about the fact that these clowns showed up to kiss Trump’s bottom. Nobody takes Burgum, Ramaswamy, Donalds, or Mills seriously, anyway. No more than anybody takes seriously Senators J.D. Vance, Rick Scott, and Tommy Tuberville, who popped up in the courtroom last week. As Sen. Lisa Murkowski said, “Do we have something to do around here other than watch a stupid porn trial?” Apparently not.

What’s not a joke is that House Speaker Mike Johnson also attended the trial in New York to show his support for Trump and to attack what he called “a sham of a trial.” Outside the courthouse, echoing what Trump says every day, Johnson claimed: “They are doing this intentionally to keep him here and keep him off of the campaign trail.”

Which makes you wonder: Has Johnson followed the trial at all? Did he read the transcripts? And exactly which of Trump’s actions is he defending? Cheating on his wife? Making hush payments to a porn star? Or election fraud?

As for Johnson’s reputation as a conservative Christian? Forget it. Former Congresswoman Liz Cheney said it best. “Have to admit I’m surprised that @SpeakerJohnson wants to be in the “I cheated on my wife with a porn star” club,” she posted on X. “I guess he’s not that concerned with teaching morality to our young people after all.”

 

Becoming a cheerleader for Trump, Johnson destroyed the image he’s been trying to project as a thoughtful, independent leader. By injecting politics into a criminal trial, Johnson debased the entire Congress and proved he’s no better than Kevin McCarthy before him, who treated the role of Speaker of the House of Representatives, the third-most powerful office in the land, as nothing more than a Trump puppet.

Note: For the record, Trump’s wife and daughter have not attended even one day at the trial. That fact alone speaks volumes. And my bet is the jury has noticed.

Ah, but here’s the most important point, which most in the media missed. Why did Trump summon all these lackeys to show up? For one reason only: Because he knows this trial’s not going well. The evidence against him is overwhelming. Trump knows he’s going to lose and walk out of there a convicted felon. He knows that will make a huge difference in the general election, so he’s lining up stooges now to say it’s no big deal. Unfortunately for him, it is.

Biden and Trump have agreed to their first debate on June 27. Good! The only question now is whether Trump will have to do it on Zoom – from his prison cell.

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(Bill Press is host of The BillPressPod, and author of 10 books, including: “From the Left: My Life in the Crossfire.” His email address is: bill@billpress.com. Readers may also follow him on Twitter @billpresspod.)

©2024 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.



 

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