The X (-tra Great) Files: Trump’s Fluff Folders

By April Horowitz

By now you’d think people have grown accustomed to hearing cringe worthy stories of Trump’s egotism and endless quest for validation, but if you’ve ever uttered the phrase “things can’t get any worse,” you know Trump ceaselessly manages to out trump himself.

When disturbing reports emerged of contentious phone conversations between newly elected President Trump, and Australian PM Malcom Turnbull, and Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto people were understandably concerned. The thought of the President of the United States treating our allies with such contempt and acting like a school yard bully was unfathomable.

White House surrogates came out in force vehemently denying any such interactions took place, and if that weren’t enough, they went on to prettify Trump’s performance as confident, focused and described a leader concentrated on issues that will “Make America Great Again”. Not only did they repudiate negative claims as insulting and fake news, they deflected any criticism by emphasizing such leaks threaten national security, and stifle Trump’s ability to hold open, private dialogue with world leaders. The official White House read out of the respective calls, painted a picture of a bland, run of the mill, “getting to know you,” “here’s we agree” typical first conversation between dignitaries.

The ruse didn’t stop there. Trump exploited statements from Turnbull and Nieto (which I can only describe as generously diplomatic) in an attempt to further dispel rumors of his incompetence, disparage the media, and show “proof” of a congenial, productive conversations.

On Aug. 3, 2017 transcripts of Trump’s phone conversations were released by  The Washington Post    There in black and white the world learned the ugly truth, and the howls of lies and fake news became very real. The discussions (if you can call them that) were far worse than cynics imagined, and the administration’s dishonesty was exposed. Not only did the transcripts reveal a combative braggart crowing over election wins, they confirmed Trump to be a short-tempered, whiny man with only one thing on his mind, his image. He cared less about America’s interests and more about his reputation, and demanded what he needed to fulfill his self-interests.

There’s no doubt Trump takes great satisfaction knowing world leaders, pundits, and the Republican party are either reduced or willing to stick their necks out to defend him in the name of “keeping the peace.” We’ve seen the Prime Minister Dusko Markovic of Montenegro take in stride Trump’s less than stately shove as he tried to get in the front of the line for a photo op. Markovic went as far to say,

“It is natural that the President of the United States is in the front row”.

When it comes to Trump’s presidency we’re witnessing sycophantic submission never seen before to placate a man whose cup has a hole. There’s no end to Trump’s obsession with his own magnificence and his surrogates fall over themselves to feed the beast.

We get it, nobody wants to poke the bear, but when it comes to Trump it goes beyond keeping your head down and ignoring the dysfunction. People feel it necessary to take it to the next level and shower him with adulation. Aside from the politic discourse expected from global leadership with the one objective of maintaining relations, many have learned Trump is easily influenced by cajolery and validation. It’s not enough to excuse his incompetence, he requires, no, demands acclaim at every level. It’s no secret pacifying Trump’s insecurities is a full-time job but apparently it now takes a village. Whether it’s keeping the peace, gaining favor or keeping Trump in a positive state of mind, people are working overtime.

VICE News has reported Trump receives a fluff folder not once, but twice a day filled with fawning, positive news about himself. Three current and former White House officials confirmed since Trump took office, he is being spoon fed carefully selected material in order to feel good about himself. The folders were nicknamed the “propaganda document,” and one must wonder what kind of of person, let alone the leader of the free world, requires a constant barrage of smarmy love letters to himself.

“These sensitive papers, described to VICE News by three current and former White House officials, don’t contain top-secret intelligence or updates on legislative initiatives. Instead, the folders are filled with screenshots of positive cable news chyrons (those lower-third headlines and crawls), admiring tweets, transcripts of fawning TV interviews, praise-filled news stories, and sometimes just pictures of Trump on TV looking powerful.”

It’s not unusual for the White House to monitor media for a host of reasons, but what is unusual is the scope and manpower this administration assembled for the sole purpose compiling a fluff folder to enhance the mood of the President of the United States.

“Maybe it’s good for the country that the president is in a good mood in the morning.”

The only well oiled machine in the White House is the throng of staffers collecting information for Trump’s vanity file. In an unprecedented move, members of the RNC were recruited to help manage the task. Starting at 6:30AM until 4:30PM a group of ten people scour various news programs, social media and articles for toadying data to assure Trump would start and end the day with self-satisfying delusions of his greatness. Ironically the only critique the communications shop received in regards to their work was, “the propaganda document needs to be more f**king positive.”

The idea was the brain child of former Press Secretary Sean Spicer and former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. A source within the White House described a pathetic scene of the two men “competing” over who would deliver the golden goods to Trump. Since Spicer’s and Priebus’s departure Trump receives the document less often and its ultimate fate lies with the new Communications Director.

One look at Trump’s presidency to date and it’s evident the propaganda document has failed to impact Trump’s temperance. He’s more unhinged than ever and a horrified nation waits in fear and disgust at what will inevitably happen next. The absurdity that a sitting president is so needy he receives feel good folders pales in comparison to the notion Trump is being shielded from unfavorable news which might otherwise help a resolute, competent leader gauge the state of affairs. The idea the president’s ego is so fragile he’s getting a distorted view of the world is another disturbing reality Trump is unfit to hold the office.

This is a diseased presidency of extraordinary proportions. Trump’s impotent because he’s consumed with immortalizing himself as a man of power and strength and there’s nothing he won’t say or do to advance his charade even if it’s at the expense of others including our country. Trump has spent his life trying to become the caricature that lives in his head. It’s an exhaustive effort for beneath the farce is an insecure weakling who needs screen shots of agreeable chyrons to make himself feel important.

Trump requires a horde of babysitters and constant oversight. The appointment of Gen John Kelly as Chief of Staff gave a troubled nation some glimmer of hope the seasoned Marine would quell the insanity.  It’s not to be so. After less than a week Trump took to Twitter reaffirming, a rabid dog can’t be contained.  Although they will never admit it, those who work closely with Trump know all too well Trump can’t be controlled and the best they can do is manage the chaos. At this point it’s a matter of survival and maintaining some semblance of order ( and keeping your job) requires above all, making the emotionally unstable, self proclaimed King feel good.


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