Donald Trump has no choice but to fire Don Jr.: Menon
After Russia revelation, even Trump fans, Vinay Menon suspects, are fighting an urge to slap Don Jr. upside his greasy head.
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Donald Trump needs to stare Don Jr. in the eyes and say it loudly: “Son, you’re fired.”
If we learned anything from The Apprentice, this should be the next plot twist in The Trump Show, which is now sputtering along as it twists in the headwinds of a Russian election-meddling scandal that got a new gust of “Say what?” this weekend courtesy of the president’s eldest son.
As the New York Times reported, Don Jr. “was promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton before agreeing to meet with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign.”
At any other time, in any other America, he’d now be in custody.
And, amazingly, it gets worse.
When asked for comment on the explosive story, it seems Don Jr. made a bold decision to extinguish the flames by dousing them with kerosene.
“After pleasantries were exchanged,” he told the paper, “the woman (lawyer) stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Mrs. Clinton. Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense. No details or supporting information was provided or even offered. It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information.”
The woman’s real motivation, he continued, was to discuss the adoption of Russian children and a 2012 U.S. law aimed at human-rights abusers: “It became clear to me that this was the true agenda all along and that the claims of potentially helpful information were a pretext for the meeting.”
Oh, man. Even if you’re the biggest Trump fan, even if you believe in deep-state conspiracies and fake-news plots and shadowy liberal cabals that are hell-bent on derailing this noble presidency, I suspect you may now be fighting a strong urge to slap Don Jr. upside his greasy head. When it comes to conspiracies and the charge of collusion, he just chucked a few live grenades at his father’s feet.
Put another way, here’s what Don Jr. told the Times: “Hang on a second! The person I agreed to meet claimed to have crystal meth. But when I got to the dark alley, the person wanted to sell me Advil. So it was a total waste of time. Although my associates and I have denied any knowledge or interest in crystal meth, the key is we didn’t get any crystal meth during this meeting, even though crystal meth is what we were seeking when we agreed to meet.”
Does anyone in Trump’s orbit realize you don’t have to succeed to commit certain high-level crimes, especially when the cover-up is the crime? Obstruction of justice is not the same as a bylaw infraction over the height of your hedges.
Treason is not the same as jaywalking.
What Trump does understand, better than most, is marketing, which is why he now has no choice but to fire his eldest son based on the damage inflicted this weekend. Firing Don Jr. might be the only way to change the subject this time.
Blame everything on the kid and hope for the best in the months ahead.
I’m not saying it will be easy. Cutting ties with family, especially your first born, is always fraught with heartache. It gets even harder when you realize the adult child has no real prospects beyond coasting on the family name.
If everything else were equal, but Don Jr. was not a Trump, it’s not clear he’d be able to land a gig folding chinos at Banana Republic. Beyond having the hairstyle of a third-tier Miami Vice villain, the only thing Don Jr. can really boast in the last two years is a string of gaffes that have hampered his dad’s bumpy political odyssey.
But even blood loyalty has a boiling point, another lesson gleaned from The Apprentice. Don Jr. has retweeted white nationalists and dropped regrettable “gas chamber” analogies into partisan quotes. He’s compared displaced refugees to poisonous Skittles, a remarkable charge coming from a human wad of chewed-up Hubba Bubba. Don Jr. is needlessly combative and reckless on social media, which is the last thing his embattled father needs given his own capacity for the same.
Don Jr. is a watered-down Don Sr.
And that’s too many Dons, as multiple investigations continue.
This weekend, the son did real harm to the White House, which in turn could do real harm to the father. If this really were an episode of The Apprentice, there’s no question Don Jr. would be singled out by Camera 1 in the climactic boardroom scene and read the riot act before getting kicked to the curb.
In Trumpville, he just committed the biggest sin: helping the other team.