The Daily Briefings: Foreign Powers Look at the Madness of U.S. News

The Daily Briefings: Foreign Powers Look at the Madness of U.S. News

Every morning in capitals all around the world, the presidents and prime ministers sit down to discuss what has happened the previous day. There may be developments in Ukraine or North Korea or Iraq. Three days ago, on a day when Spain decided to replace all the lead officials in the province of Catalonia, the topic turned, as it always does, to the prior day in Washington. Everyone wants to know what’s happening with the leader of the free world.

“What’s the news?” the leader of Britain might ask during tea at 10 Downing Street. Heads turn to the man giving the report.

“Well, they showed the nine-minute speech delivered by Florida Representative Frederica Wilson three years ago at the dedication of a Miami, Florida FBI building where she was accused of bragging that she secured the $20 million funding to build it, a usual politician ploy.”

“And?”

“She never said it. They have the whole video. She thanked everyone else for raising the money. So it was a lie. And she called White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, the man who accused her of it, a liar. I have the quote.”

The minister unfolds a piece of paper. “The White House is full of white supremacists. I feel very sorry for him because he feels such a need to lie on me and I’m not even his enemy. I just can’t even imagine why he would fabricate something like that. This is absolutely insane. I’m just flabbergasted because it’s very easy to trace.’”

Another minister clears his throat.

“Is this about that Republican Congressman Bob Corker who declined to run for re-election, who the President called “gutless?”

“No. He’s from Tennessee. The President said Corker had begged him for his endorsement but did not receive it, and decide to retire because he didn’t have the guts.”

“And Corker said?”

“He said the President OFFERED to endorse him and then he, Corker, tweeted, ‘It’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.’”

“And the President said?”

“He said Bob Corker was short.”

“So what’s this business in Florida about?”

“Ms. Wilson was in a car with a Florida woman friend whose husband died fighting in Niger, and now the President was on the phone to console the widow. They had it on speakerphone. The President at one point said, ‘Well, he knew what he signed up for,’ which certainly is inappropriate.”

“It certainly is.”

“Very insensitive.”

“Hear, hear.”

“The President denied ever saying that, but here were two women who were together in a car who said he did.”

“So what did General Kelly say having seen a video where it could be shown he was lying.”

He said he was “stunned.”

“He said, ‘If you’re able to make a sacred act like honoring American heroes about yourself, you’re an empty barrel.’”

“Anything else?”

“Yes, Trump’s press secretary said General Kelly stands by his remarks. She said, ‘If you want to get into a debate with a four-star Marine general, I think that’s something highly inappropriate.’”

“Why on earth did General Kelly make those remarks about an FBI building?”

“He’s a general. He sticks up for the Army, the FBI, the police—all enforcement. He said her bragging, which she didn’t do, was an insult to law enforcement.”

“And?”

“M-1 thinks Trump is telling people the video was doctored. Fake news. But maybe he’s saying that as just another lie?”

“Shall we move on?” the Prime Minister asks.

“Quite.”

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