5 stars – Bottom Line: Kushner Sabotaged Trump’s First Two Years
I put this book down feeling that I had learned a great deal about how to get ready to be President; a great deal about how easy it is to derail a Presidential transition and the first two years of any presidency; and a great deal about Chris Christie as a serious patriot who should be brought back by President to help him finish the job. A good title.
This book exudes integrity. Chris Christie is the real deal.
He did not get the Vice Presidency – this is my opinion, not in the book – for three reasons: 01 He was from the East Coast and the ticket needed to be balanced; 02 he is seriously overweight and not the “central casting” figure Trump envisioned as a Vice President; and 03 he had no special constituency to bring to the table, while Mike Pence, for all his flaws, could be relied on to bring the Christian evangelicals with him. In my view Christie would have made a phenomenal Chief of Staff but he turned down the job, perhaps because he knew that Trump was committed to letting Jared Kushner run amok in the White House and no self-respecting Chief of Staff would tolerate that.
Jared Kushner, Steve Bannon, Mike Flynn, and Mike Pence are fried in this book. Rence Preibus gets a few credits (particularly as a gifted debate prepper) but is generally cast as a complete loser who as chief of staff was constantly undermining the president and aligned with Paul Ryan (some say Preibus and Ryan have been intimate, that is not alluded to in this book). John Kasich gets passing mention as a sanctimonious turd (my interpretation). Paul Manafort is called the only grown-up but also held accountable for the plagiarism that marred the First Lady’s first major speech.
I will mention that I skipped the first 196 pages about how Christie grew up. The only real value in this book, at least for me, is to be found in pages 197-420. The publisher is to be commended for including an index – all the perps are carefully indexed.
Christie makes the point early on that he was the first political figure of note to endorse Donald Trump, doing so before Jefferson Sessions did.
His highest praise for Trump is up front: Trump events have no equal in US politics. His respect for Trump as well as his dismay over the way Trump is being undermined by everyone, is evident throughout the book.
Here are a few things that jumped out at me:
01 The transition team under Christie’s leadership put together twelve binders and had roughly four vetted candidates for each job of consequence. This was thrown in the trash by Kushner, which not only cost Trump his first six months, but set the stage for the Office of Presidential Personnel (OPP) to be hijacked by the GOP – Trump may not realize it, but he is being stabbed in the back daily by OPP and the establishment folk that OPP has placed while slow-rolling (not filling) most of the jobs. I cannot articulate the depth of my scorn and disdain for Kushner – completely apart from his being an agent of a foreign power he is a willful child who severely handicapped the President in his first year, and continues to sabotage the President today. I for one would like to see those twelve volumes published as a book in the traditional “Mandate for Change” series.
02 President Trump entered office alone and remains alone. He lacks trusted PEERS (Kushner and First Daughter do not count). The destruction of the transition team’s meticulously and robustly developed plans and personnel left Trump at the mercy of the Republican National Committee (RNC) which took advantage of the fact that unlike Hillary Clinton, the President only had a handful of campaign workers who could claim jobs in the White House – from where I sit, the RNC, not Trump, staffed key political and White House positions while also leaving UNSTAFFED over half of the jobs that should have been filled in the first 90 days.
03 Kushner’s other sabotage against the President was the execution of Cory Lewandowsky. I have a note – my own words – Kushner shits everywhere because Trump allows him to. I have another note further along in the book, Kushner is a little shit and a sneak. Christie says explicitly that Kushner’s political naiveté and ignorance, when combined with the unconstrained access and influence the President allowed, created too many shit storms.
04 After Kushner, Steve Bannon is the biggest loser in this book. Early on he notes that Donald Trump had never heard of Steve Bannon before the campaign (I speculate that Mercer money got Bannon a hearing). On page 306 Bannon is definitively buried:
Through his many ups and downs, Steve has remained a busy fiction consultant to needy journalists, feeding colorful but patently false anecdotes to Bob Woodward, Michael Lewis, Michael Wolff, and anyone else itching to spice up a dull book chapter or magazine piece. Steve has spent so much time whispering to reporters “on background,” it’s anyone’s guess how he still finds the time to invent his latest dark conspiracies or claim fresh credit for changing the entire face of modern politics.
In my review of Team of Vipers I observe that Bannon is similarly cursed there. Where the two books differ is on Kellyanne Conway – Christie considers her a jewel, Chris Sims, the author of the other book, provides compelling detail suggesting she is a two-faced bitch that bad-mouths the President to every reporter she is leaking to – she is (in the other book) considered the leaker-in-chief.
05 Christie has nothing good to say about Mike Flynn, whom he considers a loose-cannon. I know Mike Flynn and admire his intelligence unorthodoxy; I can see where Flynn made multiple mistake including putting his child into the campaign as his assistant, but I disagree with Christie’s condemnation of Flynn for challenging the US secret intelligence briefers, that was in fact Flynn’s greatest value to the President. Christie does not know what he does not know – as the President learned with Clapper and Bannon and Hayden and is now learning with Coats and others, the IC leaders – Gina Haspel may be an exception – lie a lot.
06 In passing we learn that Pence went through Christie seeking to meet Donald Trump and that Pence’s penchant for praying (which I consider fake – Pence is a lazy posturer) makes the President uncomfortable, as it should. As my review of Shadow President makes clear, I believe the President needs to send Pence home and get himself a female vice president for 2020, ideally one of color, there is only one name that keeps coming up, but only if he embraces #UNRIG Election Integrity Act: the Honorable Dr. Cynthia McKinney.
07 We learn in passing that Sean Hannity has his own airplane that he lends to Newt Gingrich a lot.
08 Christie opines that there are three “spine of steel” jobs that demand the absolute best in the world talent with integrity: Chief of Staff, Secretary of Defense, and Attorney General. He still wants to be Attorney General but I speculate that Christie is going to find his niche helping the post-Trump winner in 2024 start educating the public now – Trump made a mistake in choosing Kushner over Christie as top staffer, and there are no signs the President is going to change on this point, partly because his blind spot is his daughter and his daughter is married to the Zionist parasite that occupies the White House as the actual “shadow president.”
I put this book down with feelings of respect and admiration for Chris Christie. This is a book that had to be written, and I pray that President Trump wakes up and realizes he is hurting himself as long as he has Kushner – a known agent of a foreign power who was denied security clearances for that reason – in the White House. Christie wants the President to succeed. Christie did all that he could to help the President. And when he was stabbed in the back by a Zionist infant and a media slut (Bannon) he took it like a man. It’s time the President took a second look at Chris Christie and his value to the Republic.
DOC (3 Pages): Review Let Me Finish by Chris Christie