"The German generals in World War II," Trump responded.
"You do know that they tried to kill Hitler three times and almost pulled it off?" Kelly said.
"No, no, no, they were totally loyal to him," came Trump's bizarre response.
From I'll Take Your Questions Now byStephanie Grisham, who was Trump's press secretary, we learned that Trump cut his own hair with scissors that were big enough to "cut a ribbon at an opening of one of his properties."
In The Room Where it Happened, former Trump National Security Advisor John Bolton writes that when Trump was speaking with British Prime Minister Theresa May about Russia, he asked, "'Oh, are you a nuclear power?' Which I knew was not intended as a joke."
Then in Breaking History byTrump son-in-law and former Senior Advisor Jared Kushner, there is this quote: "Jared's a genius. People complain about nepotism -- I'm the one who got the steal here."
Last year, it was estimated that there have been over 1,200 English-language books written about Donald Trump's presidency. Some of these tomes are by his former staffers. Having publicized a few books in my time, I know it's always customary that prior to a book's release date, you drop a tantalizing tale or tidbit from the book in order to generate media coverage and get people intrigued enough to buy the book.
Prior to the release of books, publicists for the titles send out an advance copy to key media, mostly book critics at leading outlets. And usually accompanying the book is a press release that hypes the words on the pages, making the book sound as if it is destined for a Pulitzer Prize.
That's what happened with Jared Kushner's new book, which came out Tuesday. Heere's part of the publisher's blurb: "Jared Kushner was one of the most consequential presidential advisers in modern history. For the first time, he recounts what happened behind closed doors during the Trump presidency. ... Breaking History provides the most honest, nuanced, and definitive understanding of a presidency that will be studied for generations."
And the one morsel, the one nugget, the one scandalous bit of the book that was pulled from the book for media sensationalism that screams "mustread?"It was the little crumb that General Kelly once shoved Kushner's wife, Ivanka Trump. That seems to be in dispute, since reaction to the shocking "shove" makes it sound like it was the same "shove" Rudy Giuliani received recently that was more like a pat on the back.
The publisher's blurb and Kushner's book found their way to key critics. One of them -- perhaps the most sought-after and most revered -- is Dwight Garner of The New York Times. When Garner's review of Kushner's book was posted this week, media coverage soared.
If you want to read one of the best book reviews ever, at least in my humble opinion, then you must read Garner's. I've read it at least four times. It's that good.
Full disclosure: I was not on Kushner's publicist's list, so unfortunately -- no, fortunately -- it looks like I won't have the opportunity to read it, since I'm certainly not going to pay for it.
There are so many shareable quotes in Garner's review, it's almost like a Will Rogers speech -- jam-packed with articulacy. I think the one line that best describes the book is this: "Reading this book reminded me of watching a cat lick a dog's eye goo."
I will never look at my dog's eye goo again without thinking of Kushner.
Garner also writes that Kushner "repeatedly beats his own drum" and "recalls every drop of praise he's ever received." One of the praises is cited above.
I won't spoil the rest of it, but I'll give you one more quote that convinced me not to buy the book, even though I wasn't considering doing so in the first place. "'Breaking History' is an earnest and soulless -- Kushner looks like a mannequin, and he writes like one -- and peculiarly selective appraisal of Donald J. Trump's term in office," Garner writes.
Reading the review, particularly the part about being a mannequin, made me go back to a column I wrote about Kushner during the COVID crisis -- a Trump-Kushner-induced crisis.
In April of 2020, I wrote about how Kushner, during an appearance on Fox News, when asked about the administration's pathetic response to the runaway COVID catastrophe, said, "This is a great success story. And I think that that's really, you know, what needs to be told." In those early days the pandemic had already killed over 60,000 Americans.
I questioned, at the time, why Kushner was being so heavily relied upon in the administration when he had failed "at real estate, media, investments and just about everything he's laid his hands on. He's a lot like his father-in-law in that regard, and he's also not above fudging the facts and looking out for his own self-interest."
In his review, Garner asks, "Who is this book for? There's not enough red meat for the MAGA crowd, and Kushner has never appealed to them anyway. Political wonks will be interested -- maybe, to a limited degree -- but this material is more thoroughly and reliably covered elsewhere. He's a pair of dimples without a demographic."
Except he has a demographic -- of one. This book was written by (he had some help) and for Jared Kushner. It screams to that demographic of one with the litter of lines directed at the amazing one -- Kushner. With his name-dropping of Bono and Billy Joel, you have to come away thoroughly impressed by the people Jared knows!
And January 6? Kushner had nothing to do with it. Of course! How perceptive Jared is to stay away from such a mess. "What is clear to me is that no one at the White House expected violence that day," Kushner blissfully wrote. So much for recounting "what happened behind closed doors during the Trump presidency."
Maybe Jared just took the months of December and January off? Kushner was just exhausted from creating the great American success story.
This also might explain his spoiled brat attitude when he testified -- "lied" is more appropriate -- before the January 6 committee. White House counsel Pat Cipollone was "whining," Kushner said, which, indisputably, would be something that Jared would never do.
Bottom line. Kushner sounds like he was habitually self-centered and detached while working for his father-in-law. His version of his story is just another "great American success story." Except it isn't, because Kushner's view is from Mars, far out of this world, clinging to this galaxy. Kushner's warped universe, elaborated on in his book, sounds like unadulterated bullshit. Like seeing Kushner, it just plain makes you sick to your stomach.
"What a queasy-making book to have in your hands," Garner writes. And what a queasy-making feeling it must be to try to read alien Jared's gobbedly-goo.