Trump Family Values

As I luxuriated in the Indictment Thursday coverage I found myself asking: what does Mary Trump think? I reviewed her book last year for Bayou Brief. Too Much and Never Enough made me respect her judgment and her take on her kin folks.

The most interesting moment of Mary’s interview with Rachel Maddow last night was this:

RM: Allen Weisselberg is being charged for benefitting from that scheme. The indictment says, other executives also benefitted from that scheme. And now, we`ve got solid reporting that the investigation continues. That raises the prospect that further charges could be brought against his children.

MT: Yeah, it does. And I — again, I think they should be quite anxious right now. Donald, on the other hand, will expect the same kind and level of loyalty from them, as he expects from Allen. You know, as far as Donald`s concerned, they have what they have because of him. And they should be willing to take whatever hit they are going to take.

He doesn`t understand, I guess, how these things work. Prosecutors won`t stop at my cousins. They will be going for the bigger fish, which would be Donald, who`s been running this organization for over 30 years, now.

So I think he would be surprised to learn that I don`t believe my cousins would exert that kind of — exercise that kind of loyalty towards him because his relationship with them and their relationship with him is entirely transactional. So — and conditional, I should say.

So, they`re not going to risk anything for him, just as he wouldn`t risk anything for them. So, it could get really, really interesting as these things unfold, because there are so many more documents that New York prosecutors have at their disposal.

RM: So, you have more confidence that Allen Weisselberg would — wouldn`t cooperate, than you do that the president`s — former president`s children wouldn`t cooperate?

MT: Yeah. I think, as far as I understand it, and, you know, I`m not a lawyer. But it seems that, as — as serious as these charges are, they may not end up with jail time or any significant amount of jail time. And the downside of cooperating with prosecutors, for Allen Weisselberg might be larger than the downside of going to jail if it`s for a short enough period of time.

So, again, it`s going to be very interesting to see just the — the case that can be made. And the sentencing, if it comes to that, because I think that will factor in, for sure. But I`m much less sanguine about my cousins` loyalty to their father.

Sorry for the long quote, but I wanted everything to be put in context. Mary Trump might be wrong about her cousins but the mere possibility they *could* flip on former President* Pennywise is fascinating. We all have fickle and untrustworthy relatives, but this takes the cake.

Speaking of cake and relatives who work together, I feel a musical interlude coming on.

The current edition of Crowded House has three Finns. I don’t think Liam or Elroy would flip on papa Neil. Their Uncle Tim never did. There’s more Eighties music to come at the end of the post. It was the decade in which Donald Trump became famous, after all.

Now that we’ve had dessert, back to the main course: the Trumps. There have long been rumors of discord between the Two Donalds. Junior rebelled against his father after his mother was so publicly dumped. That’s one of the few good things I’ve ever heard about Junior.

Don Junior seems to think he can be the next John Quincy Adams or George W Bush: son of a president who becomes one himself. Adams set the bar high, but W lowered it considerably; making even grandson of a president Benjamin Harrison look good. Ratting out the Kaiser of Chaos would be bad for Junior politically, so I think he’ll stay on the sinking ship.

Ivanka is the favorite child, but she’s also the smart one. I could see her flipping on dear old dad and expecting his reaction to be akin to what happens post-blindside on Survivor, which is a better reality show analogy than The Apprentice.

Eric is clearly a dumbass. I can see him flipping. He’s already mounting an “everyone cheats on their taxes” defense. It’s certainly true in the circles he runs in.

At the beginning of last night’s show, Maddow talked about hotelier Leona (The Queen Of Mean) Helmsley who was convicted on similar charges in 1989. She was the one who said, “Only the little people pay taxes.” That’s how people like the Trumps think. I’ve known a few of them personally. Like Donald, they think grifting on their taxes makes them smart.

Allen Weisselberg is an enigma. Like many accountants, he seems to be a closed-off and quiet man. That’s why the Impeached Insult Comedian likes him: Donald never shuts up.

Weisselberg is aware that what he’s charged with rarely results in jail time. He unlikely to flip unless he’s threatened with serious time in the slammer. I hope I’m wrong about this but that appears to be the case as of this writing.

Families are weird. All of our gene pools have variants that we could do without. I’ve been trying to run down rumors about one of my relatives about whom the older generation were always tight-lipped. All my father would say is that he was a professional gambler. It took me years to get Lou to say that this guy was a friend of Frank Nitti. I’ve heard that he did more than hang out with The Enforcer, but the facts are sparse. I’m hoping that he’s more colorful than previously thought, but it may be impossible to prove since Lou always painted his relatives in the most flattering light.

A quick note about Rachel Maddow. I’ve been critical of her recent on-air performance. It has pained me to do so since I’ve been watching her since she was a guest and guest host on Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Last night’s show was the first in quite some time that she hasn’t been alternately overdramatic and depressed. I guess Indictment Thursday was good for her morale: she’s actually more optimistic about the Manhattan DA’s case than I am.

Repeat after me: families are weird.

The 1980’s were Donald Trump’s heyday, so the last word goes to Hall & Oates followed by Fleetwood Mac with some glossy familial pop rock magic: