'Master Class': A One-Act Play
Donald Trump is poolside at Mar-a-Lago, waving to guests as they go by.
GUEST #1: Mr. President!
TRUMP: See you at the fundraiser for J.D. Vance tonight. Have the steak.
GUEST #2: Stop the steal!
TRUMP: Have the steak!
An aide walks up to inform him he has a telephone call and hands him a cell phone.
AIDE: It’s Kevin McCarthy.
TRUMP: Again? Should I tape it?
He takes the phone.
TRUMP: My Kevin! You should call more.
McCARTHY: So, Mr. President, now they’ve subpoenaed me.
TRUMP: The Academy Award.
McCARTHY: I’m not accepting it.
TRUMP: Don’t go up there and slap them. You tell me, which is worse and which is more dishonest, the Oscars or the Emmys? Should have won the Emmy. A con game. An irrelevant show. Can you believe that The Apprentice lost to The Amazing Race? No credibility. Low ratings. A joke. Should have gotten it. Stolen.
McCARTHY: They want to ask me about what I said on that tape.
TRUMP: Just say it’s fake.
McCARTHY: I did already. When it came out, I said, “The New York Times’ reporting on me is totally false and wrong.”
TRUMP: You’re on the tape saying, “What Trump did is unacceptable. Nobody can defend that and nobody should defend it.” And you told Liz Cheney you were going to tell me to resign. It’s on the tape.
McCARTHY: I told Fox News, “I never told the president to resign.”
TRUMP: And what else?
McCARTHY: I told Fox, “It was a conversation that we had about scenarios going forward.”
TRUMP: Kevin, you know what your problem is?
McCARTHY: But I told Fox, “What was brought to me, it said I called the president to say that – to resign. I never called the president to say ‘resign.’” Now they say I’m a liar.
TRUMP: They only believe you’re telling the truth if you’re lying.
McCARTHY: But I said I never told you to resign.
TRUMP: Don’t kid a kidder. You couldn’t lie your way out of a traffic ticket.
McCARTHY: So, what do you suggest?
TRUMP: You want some lessons, my Kevin? Let’s go to the tape. First thing, you say the New York Times reporting is wrong. Right?
McCARTHY: It’s two New York Times reporters with a tape.
TRUMP: That’s your first mistake. The tape is a phony, it’s fake, it’s made up, somebody forged it, it’s a counterfeit.
McCARTHY: Deny the tape? With my voice on it?
TRUMP: Until they’re willing to say who gave it to them, it’s a fake. And, guess what, they’ll never say where they got it, never name their source. You win, it’s a fake.
McCARTHY: And resign, asking you to resign?
TRUMP: Resign? Nobody was on that call but you and me. You tell me what you said. So, you’re not lying if I say you’re not lying. What do you think I should say? I’m your friend, aren’t I, Kevin? But there are others who are not your friends.
McCARTHY: Liz says she didn’t leak the tape.
TRUMP: Listen, Pollyanna, it’s someone else who wants to put a knife in your back, wants to shove your corpse to the gutter so they can be Speaker. It’s replacement theory. Liz can’t be Speaker. Didn’t you love it when Elise Stefanik blamed the Democrats as “pedo grifters” for the baby formula shortage? A gift for words. A girl after my own heart.
McCARTHY: Are you suggesting Stefanik leaked that tape?
TRUMP: She’s got purity of heart. Not a dropout, like, well, not personal. You know, I like Matt Gaetz. I like Marjorie Taylor Greene. Don’t forget Jim Jordan. He’s subpoenaed, too. No tapes with him so far. But Elise, she went to Harvard. If I were you, Kevin, when I sit down, I’d make sure my back is against the wall. Make sure you can see who’s coming and going.
A guest walks by.
GUEST #3: Let’s go Brandon!
Trump gives a thumbs up.
TRUMP: Get the steak!
McCARTHY: Yeah, I’ll have a steak tonight, rare.
TRUMP: Well done.
TRUMP: I mean the steak.
McCARTHY: And I’m not going to testify.
TRUMP: If you do, they’ll refer you for perjury.
McCARTHY: Not if I tell the truth—not that I’m testifying.
TRUMP: Nobody believes you’re telling the truth unless you lie all the time. When you lie all the time, that becomes the truth. Then people will believe you. But if you tell the truth and then lie, nobody will ever believe you if you tell the truth, or believe you when you lie. And for the people who don’t believe you, if you lie all the time, they have to say that you think that you’re telling the truth—“on the one hand, on the other hand.” If you get to be “on the other hand,” that’s the truth. The pundits can say “on the one hand,” but if you’re “on the other” you’re just as true. If it’s two truths, you’re still the truth. If you lie all the time, you’re “on the other hand” at the worst, which means that it’s true. Maybe “on the one hand” is true, but maybe it’s a lie, but because of “the other hand” is true. If you lie all the time, that’s the reality, and reality is true, it’s reality, so that’s the truth, but only if you’re lying, that is, all the time.
McCARTHY: I’m trying to follow.
TRUMP: On the one hand, you said something on that tape, and on the other hand you said it’s false. Might be too late for you, my Kevin. Flunked acting. The problem is you have to lie all the time.
McCARTHY: But I am subpoenaed. If I talk and I lie, they’ll say I’m lying. What do I do now?
TRUMP: Don’t talk.
Sidney Blumenthal, former senior adviser to President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, has published three books of a projected five-volume political life of Abraham Lincoln:A Self-Made Man,Wrestling With His Angel ,andAll the Powers of Earth. His play This Town, about a scandalous White House dog, was produced in 1995 by LA TheatreWorks. This is the fourteenth in his "Trump Cycle" series of one-act plays published in The National Memo, including The Pardon, Epstein's Ghost, Ivanka's Choice, Sunset Boulevard, The Exclusive, The Role Model, A Modest Proposal, The Exit Interview, The Hitler Gospel, Father Knows Best,The Gold Medal Winner, All I Want For Christmas Is Melania’s Non-Fungible Token, and Puppet Theater.
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