Sean Hannity, having gone into the classic scumbag’s bag of scummy tricks, decided the best way to handle Donald was to try to run him like a corrupt show dog: Through a series of hoops, Hannity offered Donald Trump a simple way of walking back Trump’s relentless adoration for Vladimir Putin. Hannity began by tooting his own horn, saying to Trump, “I’ve known you for well over 25 years.” Hey Sean, I grew up in New York City! I’ve known Donald Trump for more than four decades—and he’s been this terrible the whole time.
But Hannity wants you to know these two guys talk about stuff together. “And when you got criticized for saying that Vladimir Putin was smart”—it is here that Hannity slows down so that Trump can understand which direction he’s trying to lead his blunt mind—“Um, we’ve had many conversations, and you’ve often quoted to me Sun Tzu, The Art of War.” Any time an old white guy brings up The Art of War by Sun Tzu outside of a history class, it’s time to leave the room before the incoming enormous load of bullshit is thrown your way. Being an audience to two old white guys whose entire wardrobes were chosen by the costume designer of American Psycho discuss The Art of War is sort of like being forced to watch a sizzle reel of infomercial “while supplies last” graphics.
And somehow, Trump is still able to f- this up.
Let’s get back to this gingerly laid track: “You’ve often quoted to me Sun Tzu, The Art of War. ‘Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.’”
Quick break to point out that Sun Tzu never said this. Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola wrote this in The Godfather Part II (1974) for Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) to say. Whether the two were inspired by some of Niccolo Machiavelli is possible. But whatever, Hannity and Trump wouldn’t be the first two people to talk sagely about Sun Tzu, likely never having read Sun Tzu.
“Is that how you viewed Vladimir, Vladimir Putin, and people like [Chinese] President Xi, and Kim Jong-Un, and the Iranian mullahs? As enemies you had to keep close?”
It’s a long walk to this leading question. Hannity even stumbles after calling Putin “Vladimir” in the familiar, and stutters his way into saying his full name. All the twice-impeached Donald has to say is, “Yes.” You know and I know that is impossible. Here is the grand duke of fascism, Donald Trump, giving his full response:
TRUMP: I got along with these people. I got along with them well. That doesn’t mean they’re good people. It doesn’t mean anything other than the fact that I understood them, and perhaps they understood me. Maybe they understood me even better—that’s okay. Because they knew there would be a big penalty. In North Korea I got along with Kim Jong-Un. When I first came into office as you know, President Obama met me in the Oval Office, he said ‘we’re gonna probably, the biggest problem you have is North Korea, we’re gonna end up in a war with North Korea. Could be a nuclear war.’* We had no problem with North Korea, I got along with him well. We understood each other. I got along with Putin, I got along with Xi.
Hannity then tries to jump in and get Trump back to pretending he isn’t just telling people how he gets along with famous dictators because they understand him and he understands them. Hannity doesn’t want his audience to stumble into the realization that Trump is simply saying he is the same person as them, just less intelligent and easier to be manipulated by people saying the words “I understand you.” Hannity tries to get Trump to say that he understood people like Putin were “capable of evil things,” but Donald got so spun around by Vladimir Putin, it’s hard to quit him.
Trump responds “Putin is for Russia and you see what happened. And that’s all because they didn’t respect our leader.” Trump went on to say that Putin has “changed,” but that if Donald Trump was still in office Putin wouldn’t have “changed.” If that sounds like gobbledygook that’s because it is. Trump finished by once again making the claim that “Putin will tell you this—if he was telling the truth, and I am sure he has told it to all of his inner sanctum—nobody was tougher on Russia than me.”
*Totally sounds like a real conversation President Barack Obama had. Sounds just like President Obama talking.