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Inside politics

Secrets of the Trump White House

Trump: obsessed with the military. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty

In the White House, Donald Trump had an aide known as the “Music Man”. Whenever the president got angry, this official would calm him down by playing his favourite show tunes, such as Memory from Cats. This, says Margaret Hartmann in Intelligencer, is just one of many pieces of “salacious political gossip” revealed in a recent batch of Trump-related books. Others include the claim that the president has cut his own hair for years, and that Melania and her staff called Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner “the interns” – because they were “obnoxious, entitled know-it-alls”.

We’ve also learnt that Trump’s “mystery” hospital procedure in 2019 was in fact a routine colonoscopy. Incredibly, he underwent the probing procedure without anaesthetic, because he didn’t want to hand over power to Vice President Mike Pence even for a few hours. In another “moronic” incident, Trump was brainstorming where to quarantine Covid-infected Americans. “Don’t we have an island that we own?” he asked advisors. “What about Guantanamo?”

🎖Trump was also obsessed with the military, say Susan Glasser and Peter Baker in The New Yorker. After watching the Bastille Day parade in Paris in 2017, he asked officials to put on an even bigger show in Washington – but with one caveat. “I don’t want any wounded guys,” he said. “It doesn’t look good for me.” Eventually he soured on his generals because of their supposed disloyalty. At one point he asked them why they couldn’t “be like the German generals” in the Second World War. “You do know,” responded his chief of staff (and retired general) John Kelly, “that they tried to kill Hitler three times and almost pulled it off?”