Poor Donald Trump Got Dumped

h/t rocksunderwater (public domain)

Poor Donald Trump.

He’s been having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, every day for about the last six weeks. He lost the election, then in his battle to overturn things in court he lost and lost and lost and lost some more, each time more bigly than that last. But the worst day, the most terrible horrible no good very bad day of them all, had to be last Sunday, when the Russian electronic spying operation using Solar Wind to hack into highly sensitive government and corporate networks became public.

There has been a lot written about the potential damage of the Solar Wind mess, both in terms of national security and corporate secrets, most of which is speculation. But there is one bit of enormous damage that is obvious, not at all speculative, but is getting no attention at all from anyone.

Along with the rest of the world, Donald Trump just learned that he got dumped by Vladimir Putin.

We almost made it up where they are
But losing your love
Brought me down hard
Now I’m just hanging, just getting by
Where expectations aren’t that high, but

Here on cloud 8
A lotta nothing’s going on
I’m just drifting day to day
Out here on my own
While up on cloud 9
I hear ’em party all the time
They don’t hear my heart break
Down here on cloud 8

Poor Donald. He just learned that Putin has been doing stuff behind his back, all while Putin has been telling him that he’s Putin’s BFF. It’s been almost a week, and poor Donald still can’t come to grips with it.

He’s tweeted about getting the COVID-19 vaccines out (“Yay Me!”) He’s tweeted about the “fact” that he actually won the election and condemned everyone who has failed to have his back (Brian Kemp, he’s looking at you). He’s tweeted about bizarre public health theories (“masks and lockdowns don’t work!”). He’s tweeted about vetoing the defense bill in order to defend 19th century traitors. He’s tweeted about Senator-to-be Tommy Tuberville, on whom he’s pinning his hopes of overturning the election when the electoral college vote gets to Congress. He’s tweeted against Mitch McConnell for arguing against this. But despite this flood of tweets, the one thing he can’t bear to tweet about is being dumped.

And it’s not just that he got dumped. It’s that Putin cheated on him.

He cheated on Trump for months, privately whispering sweet nothings in his ear in their special phone calls, while working behind Trump’s back. Worst of all, in Trump’s mind the hack tells Trump that Putin believed that Trump would lose, and Putin needed to take advantage of Trump’s blindness while he could.

And it’s not just that Putin cheated on him and didn’t believe in him. It’s that everyone knows that Putin cheated on him

Angela Merkel knows. Boris Johnson knows. Emmanuel Macron knows. Justin Trudeau knows. Xi Jinping knows. Kim Jong Un knows. Jacinda Ardern knows. Even Andrés Manuel López Obrador knows about it, and Trump is sure that everyone in Mexico is laughing at him. Even the nobodies who rule those shithole countries know, and they’re laughing too. Putin made him look like a fool in front of everyone in the whole cafeteria world, and they’re all laughing at him.

And it’s not just that Putin made him look like a fool. It’s that there’s not a damn thing that Trump can do about it.

Everyone knows that Trump has been played, bigly. Trump can’t run a PR operation to deflect things. He can’t deny that it ever happened. He can’t say that he dumped Putin and not the other way around. He can’t pretend it doesn’t hurt. And he can’t keep everyone in the whole damn world from talking about it, and from laughing about him behind his back.

While up on cloud 9
I hear ’em party all the time
They don’t hear my heart break
Down here on cloud 8
They don’t hear my heart break
Down here on cloud 8

And before you think this is all a good laugh, and that Trump got what’s been coming to him, I’ve got two words for you: John Hinckley. Something tells me that Trump does not take well to being dumped, being cheated on, and being held up before the world as a fool.

And that scares me.

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49 replies
  1. Nehoa says:

    Methinks they need to have a very special Secret Service detail on him to deter/report on anything destructive he does before and/or after January 20, 2021.

  2. BroD says:

    But you know what? Fuck that guy. Trump’s got hundreds of people telling him what a great guy he is. And they mean it–really mean it. You can tell they’re sincere because he’s got something they really want and that’s the best place to be. Maybe he’ll give this guy a pardon–or that guy–maybe both. Probably both because half of these jokers will just turn their backs on you if you need a favor after they’ve gotten what they want. Know what I mean?

  3. Eureka says:

    This is an interesting take, Peterr; I would add the final* knife-twist — a triple Salchow, if you will — of Putin acknowledging Biden as President-elect, because with that + SolarWinds, the math means Putin spent his resources _not_ so much electing Trump this time.** [Gee, it’s almost like IRA trolls are not enough, and one needs all that collusiony collaboration with campaign operatives sharing polling data and optimizing stolen info releases with non-state hostile actors and such. Notwithstanding that Putin’s trolls didn’t need to create American personae so much this time, what with GOPers — our own government officials — taking the words and documents out of his mouthpieces and their hands. But I digress-ish.] In other words: Biden will be POTUS, we were plenty busy hacking away at US resources, “interfering” in a common parlance, perhaps, but didn’t bother to get you elected this time — which means, by the way, that we _did_ get you elected last time. ~~ brushes smooth the ice shavings ~~


    *Of _this_ chain of signification; what else is in store between the two … we’ll (maybe) see. Also, my interpretation of Putin’s acknowledgement of Biden was him just telling the GOP, “Stop wasting the money we are laundering through your causes on vexatious litigation, move on to something cheaper — your ability to pay us back is waning. Learn to propagandize on a budget, FFS.”

    **Unless some aspects of the espionage were indeed used towards coercing outcomes, but were thwarted (or arrived too subtly). One can’t help but think of what they might have liked to have done in/re 2016 (or perhaps later, did) with the tools Schulte stole (for them) and laundered through WL. It’s almost like all the DNC et al. hacks/ elections interference these last cycles were noisy cover for this larger operation to pwn all sides of our government — besides, of course, that such an operation would include the part which involved electing Trump, so he could smash the locks, break the windows, and firesale the rest.

    It’s pretty chilling that they’ve got all of this key gov+ data as a hedge against new, toothsome sanctions… and with all of the geopolitics we must repair, oh my.

    • emptywheel says:

      Eureka

      I do think that Shadow Brokers was the point while the DNC hack was the distraction. I think Schulte may be related but I can’t prove it yet.

      • Eureka says:

        I’m glad you weighed in. I’m getting anticipatory butterflies that you (and we by proxy) are *thisclose* to an avalanche-by-increment of truth as to the big picture. What a pivotal capstone series of posts that will be.

        For whatever (guttural) reasons — and likely quite distinct from your evidentiary constraints on the Schulte issue, but maybe not — this whole SolarWinds thing seems like a tipping point event, recurring onto the whole shebang. I can’t quite articulate it, but it’s a sense about what the different RU (intelligence) entities were doing, with what Americans, when. “Springtime for SVR (vs. GRU)” keeps coming to mind, in re 2020, -2016, and in between. (Setting aside the profusion of oligarchs and their entities for the moment — tho I wonder if there is an equation by which their number, obfuscatory characters, all, indicates distance from Putin’s operational “heart”.) Trump and the GOP were the side-hustle, which paid off in kompromat, cash, useful idiots in perpetuity, and what have you. Underneath was Putin’s version of One Long Infrastructure Week.

  4. Desider says:

    That’s mean of you, Dr. Ew – you hint at that homoerotic cosplay bromance “i wish I could quit you, babe” as Vlad goes on another outing to the Great White and Don sits home alone – but homeless in just 4 weeks – what to do? You’ve left us hanging – we were expecting Ozark meets Succession, and instead we get Taxi Driver?

      • Peterr says:

        And there aren’t a whole lot of breakup songs that feature two guys. Cloud 8 was the best song I knew that could match the “sitting home alone while your ex goes merrily along without you” vibe.

        • DoubleDeens says:

          Your selection is perfect. FWIW, “I Can’t Help It If I’m Still In Love With You” came to mind as I was reading this discussion…

        • vvv says:

          “Leaving with a broken heart
          I love you even still
          But if I can’t change your mind
          Then no one will
          If I can’t change your mind”
          ht[BREAK]tps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxG2JekSlBk

        • blueedredcounty says:

          I hadn’t heard this tune before, and it’s great.

          I also think the song “Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out to Dry” could be appropriate, if Donald had more of a stiff upper lip and wasn’t such a whiner.

          • Stacey says:

            An old boss and good friend of mine years ago used to walk through the office singing “his favorite country song” which seems to also speak to Trump’s broken prom-date moment: “I got the huuuungries for your love, and I’m waitin’ in your welfare line!”

  5. Ollie says:

    great piece Peterr. I wholeheartedly agree w/you. I never thought Trump would consider Putin playing him.. I don’t think he could ever see that. The shame yes but w/his many yes men serving the front lines? they’ll say it’s not true or something. Gosh so many are thinking Trump opened it up to Putin. You know what I still can’t figure and it really bothers me? The fact that some GOP Senators went to RU on the 4th of July. No idea why, how come but we paid for it. Just makes me sick.

    oh yeah: It really made me feel……..pleased w/myself because I knew every single political figure you mentioned! IDK, silly but it’s comforting that I come to the right places: like Emptywheel.

  6. Molly Pitcher says:

    I am not in agreement with your assessment this time, Peterr. I think that Trump has been very complicit in facilitating the hamstringing of our Covid and internet response and the Biden transition. He always shows exactly why he is doing what he does.

    What other reason is there for the flurry of decapitation of the heads of critical parts of the government in the last few months ? I don’t buy that Trump is just trashing the place on his way out. That would mean that he cared about something enough to do something.

    He only cares about and expends energy on one thing, himself. I think he is holding up his end of the bargain with Putin by removing the competent leadership who have institutional knowledge and installing clueless placeholders while the Russians hack the government.

    No comments about the Covid disaster or competent response to the attacks? That suits Putin by destabilizing and crippling the country, much the way the sanctions have crippled Russia.

    His protestations about the election are only to further the grift.

    Occam’s Razor says that Trump is paying the Piper. Nothing else explains his actions/lack of actions.

    • Peterr says:

      I think you’re talking about a lot more than I am.

      I agree that there has been a lot of decapitating a lot of the executive branch, and screwing with the transition. Some of that may be Trump, but a lot is directed by the GOP folks who’ve made common cause with Trump, to shrink the size of government, deregulate everything, and all the other fantasies they’ve had over the last 40 years. What Betsy DeVos did to the Dept of Education is pure Betsy, not Trump or Putin, what Barr did to DOJ and Pompeo did to State is what they’ve longed to do, and the same is true of most of the other heads of departments and agencies. I agree that Trump is not directing that the executive branch be trashed on the way out, but the people he’s put in place don’t need direction on that front. They’re happy to do that on their own.

      Trump’s selfcenteredness is what made him attractive to Putin in the first place. He’s predictable, and easily manipulated by someone like Putin. Trump’s silence on COVID deaths or this hack is like his silence on anything else that suggests he’s failed at something: he doesn’t want to acknowledge that it happened or address it at all. Think of the stories from career folks who learned early on that even mentioning Russia in a briefing was to put your job on the line, because Trump did not want anyone in his orbit even suggesting that there was something about his 2016 election that implies that he didn’t win All By Himself.

      Now Trump has to confront the reality that he’s been played, and that’s the biggest slap of all.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        I don’t see Trump “confront[ing] the reality” on this. Molly Pitcher articulated my take too, which Trump confirmed by once again pointing at China as the hacker (“I don’t see why it would be” Russia, again). He had so many calls with Putin during the critical time when the hack was apparently being executed that countless bees could have been put under that brittle hair bonnet of his–without him comprehending their true purpose, and without his being able to piece the psychological hack together now due to his insatiable need for Vlad’s approval.

    • Raven Eye says:

      I don’t see anything in what is happening in the Trump world these days as a single thread. There are many different spots on the heat map — each energized by a different fuel and stoked by different tenders.

      With regard to the late-stage shakeups in agencies, especially DoD, I see Trump reflexively building the administration for his second term. And this is just a peek at how things would work if he had been re-elected.

      Beyond that, a lot of what we’ve seen is the normal thing for inside the Beltway — leveraging the President — but on steroids. For Putin, Trump was not an “asset”, but rather was the classic “useful idiot”. However, when we look at the usual folks infected with Potomac Fever, Trump WAS/IS an asset for them. This stuff is right out of the playbook on how to hang in there and take your gains where you can get them by leveraging the peculiarities of whoever sits in the White House. Barr can bail out now because Trump can’t do anything more for his personal causes.

      The aggressively ignorant Trump is quite reptilian, but that doesn’t mean his behavior lacks complexity. Varanus* Trumpias is perfectly capable of simultaneously hunting for food, being prepared to instantly attack perceived enemies, keeping an eye out for a crevice to crawl into if needed — all the while excreting an attractant so he can find another of his species to screw.

      * Look up the genus.

  7. Max404 says:

    I agree with Molly Pitcher. Trump is aware and actively doing damage to the nation. His “crazy” act is an act. He may well also be crazy, in the way narcissism is illness, but narcissists can also be highly effective and successful individuals. Narcissism is also a mental illness that generates less sympathy than others. Narcissists are assholes.

    What gets me is that in the end he is hiding very little. His silence of the last week says it all. There is nothing in fact for him to say except, “it is what it is”. From the moment he invited the Russians to hack mail servers during the 2016 election he has said clearly for whom he is working. His supporters have endless rationalisations for his behavior, but in the end everybody knows their agenda: white supremacy, low taxes, minority rule.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gxd23UVID7k

    It is the progressive movement that requires deeper analysis. I remember when the film The Manchurian Candidate came out. There were many reactions to that film, and it was a great film, but of the reactions among liberals, like members of my family, was that that story was just one more example of right-wing fear-mongering designed to incite the population to war against Russia (or Cuba or China … ). Now, since it is patently obvious given Trump’s silence of the last week that he indeed is the Manchurian Candidate, it seems critics have difficulty saying it clearly. He Works For Them. Because invoking the Manchurian Candidate makes us into the right-wing creatures we so detested ?

    The truth of the Trump – Putin connection must come out if there is to be any hope of saving the country. Only if the truth comes out and is spoken clearly can Americans understand the existential risks to a democracy, when self-interest and injustice are raised to the level of national political program.

    • Peterr says:

      If you are right then this is a Manchurian Candidate thing, then why doesn’t my take make sense to you? Trump discovers that instead of being the Chosen One of his foreign masters, he’s been cast aside and duped about it for 6 months or so . . . yeah, that’s not going to sit well.

      • Max404 says:

        Poor Donald. He just learned that Putin has been doing stuff behind his back, all while Putin has been telling him that he’s Putin’s BFF.

        Not so sure it was behind his back. Why are there no witnesses to or transcripts of Trump’s meetings or calls with Putin? This cannot simply be chalked up to “Trump being Trump”, or some other variant of the “crazy” defense.

        He cheated on Trump for months … while working behind Trump’s back.

        Likewise.

        The discovery of the hack happened, but not because Putin wanted it to be discovered, in order to punk his ex-BFF.

        Trump has been circling around the former Soviet Union for decades, hoping to get his piece of the really big enchilada of the postwar world: the selloff for cheap of the world’s 2nd superpower. He, and other grifter-schmucks. He just got crumbs, but not for not trying. He wants to be an oligarch. For that, he sold out his country.

        Putin didn’t dump him. Putin just got found out and Trump’s own predicament is just collateral damage.

        My complaint with your analysis is that it makes Trump seem passive.

        That said, I love your writing and cackled as you conjured up the delicious scenes of failed buddy love between these two monsters.

    • PeterS says:

      I don’t see it as such an either/or situation. Trump may be a crude example of the species, but human beings are complex creatures. And Putin is easily capable of playing someone in more than one way.

    • Stacey says:

      Max404, I would say that the general population’s fear/hesitancy around calling the Manchurian Candidate spade a spade is less a left-right thing and more a human tendency to dissociate from things we can’t safely process, especially while they are still unspooling in our life.

      Similarly, I thought it was unbelievably interesting that pundits have called everything that even looks like it could possibly be a political scandal in someone’s dream by the suffix ‘-gate’, from Watergate. And then we finally have what anyone in the sane universe would call Watergate 2.0–literally breaking into a competing presidential campaign to spy on and utilize your recon in some way in your own campaign–and absolutely ONE pundit I ever heard regularly referred to any of this as “Russiagate”. Joy Reid regularly referred to it by that term and no one else I ever heard, except John Oliver called it “Stupid Watergate”, which was also appropriate.

      But the thing that always seemed clear to me to explain that was the notion that the ACTUAL repeat of the worst political scandal in living memory by which we judge ALL others is now happening in real time and now that term is too hot to touch, psychologically, for US, collectively. Thus we dissociate from it. We’re not real good at these “Naked Lunch” moments. That moment when we finally take a real honest look at what’s on the end of our fork. Americans in general are nothing if not good at walking away from those moments at almost any cost!

      A Manchurian Candidate is way too vulnerable for US to admit we’re still not out from under.

  8. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Nobody puts Donald in a corner – except Donald.

    Donald’s reach is limited, but he has a predator’s eye for the vulnerable. He is immensely narcissistic, which reduces his capacity for self-assessment to nil and makes him vulnerable to more advanced predators like Putin. He can rationalize his way out of any hole, though, and he will smile at having lifted hundreds of millions from his would be followers – whom he despises as chumps – and kept it among the family. That’s his career in a nutshell.

    • Peterr says:

      The way he’s going, he’s going to have raised enough on his way out the door to make the $400M debt payments he’s got hanging over his head.

      “Obama had to write a book to make major post-election money. Dubya? Don’t make me laugh. But look at me: I’m gonna walk out of the White House with all I need to pay off that debt, and guaranteed future income because the Secret Service will have to rent rooms where ever I go, and I go to my own properties with the most exclusive (and expensive!) rooms. I’m a genius!”

      /Trump

      • BobCon says:

        I am not convinced he will be able to do this legally, though, and now he is under the microscope.

        One of the provisions of the Defense bill that has been approved by both Houses of Congress is an end to anonymous shell corporations, and he has two years to come into compliance with transparency rules. He is no longer going to skate on NY state laws. And his insulation from legal challenges as president are going to evaporate. He can’t duck providing testiminy much longer.

        He will fight hard, of course, and the legal challenges will provide opportunities for more fundraising. But I am very skeptical he is going to be able to do it without ultimately making things worse.

        He may well succumb to poor health before justice is served, but I am dubious there is another way out if this runs on for a long time.

      • JohnJ says:

        Some $617millon have already wandered off of his campaign account with some help by Prince Jarad. Either his debts are more astronomical than we think, or he is on his way to paying them off. (I vote for the former).

        Gee, wonder why his campaign ran out of money early. I don’t think it was the Super Bowl ads that did it.

        • Peterr says:

          I think that is more likely to have been Jared’s grift, and therefore does nothing to help pay Trump’s debts.

  9. skua says:

    There is such a thing as going too far Vlad.
    Upon discovering that his best friend is screwing the wife, the mistress, the coffee boys, and has the grown children calling him “daddy”, what’s a transactional loser to do but turn up the WH public address system to DEFCON2 and plug into
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rX-4eluL-HM

    hmmm?

  10. BobCon says:

    I think what we have seen is just the first and second act, and there will be a final act that still will be played out.

    Well past Inauguration Day Trump has a lot of information Putin can still use, he can do a lot of mischief that is useful to Putin, and Putin’s leverage grows, even though Trump’s usefulness as an asset will be greatly diminished.

    Trump is going to be in a nightmare situation where he is going to have a hard time ducking contacts from Russia, but he will have lost the legal insulation of the presidency, and he will have every reason to believe the US government is listening to the Russians. And, he will be left wondering if the Russians are just setting him up to tighten their hold on him.

    What is he going to do if a Russian businessman approaches him with a slightly shady business deal and hints that Putin has smiled on the deal? Obama, Bush and Clinton would have no problem playing things by the book, but how does Trump keep the US government into the loop without implicating himself or risk angering Putin?

    What is he going to do if some potential Saudi investor starts digging for information on what the US is doing in Syria, and that information is possibly useful to Russia?

    I doubt Trump really knows what is classified and what is not, but after Inauguration the simple act of finding out will be fraught for him. He does know, however, that Putin has no reason to wipe his ledgers clean.

    • Raven Eye says:

      I’ve never considered Trump as Putin’s “asset”. I believe that the term of art “useful idiot” is much more accurate — the difference matters.

      But beyond that, one of these days Trump is going to wake up to the fact that his Secret Service detail is made up of federal LEOs. And when you consider the types of crimes that the Secret Service investigates, both domestically and abroad, well…

      • BobCon says:

        I don’t think it is a simple command and control relationship, in the way that Putin can put the screws to the typical pipeline operator in the Urals.

        But I think Putin has most likely made at least a few specific asks of Trump, and I suspect there is a a lot of guidance.

        I think Trump’s usefulness is dropping dramatically — he won’t be able to yank hard on Germany’s chain any longer. But I also think Trump’s capacity to insulate himself will drop a lot once the machinery of the US government is gone.

    • Eureka says:

      One of the first things I thought of with the SolarWinds hack was that post-presidency Trump could easily pass classified info to Putin or nearly anyone, really, and have the cover of “but it wasn’t from me — it was from the hack. Prove it.”

  11. Peterr says:

    Trump finally tweets about Solar Wind hack, and it’s about what you’d expect.

    Part 1:

    The Cyber Hack is far greater in the Fake News Media than in actuality. I have been fully briefed and everything is well under control. Russia, Russia, Russia is the priority chant when anything happens because Lamestream is, for mostly financial reasons, petrified of….

    Part 2:

    ….discussing the possibility that it may be China (it may!). There could also have been a hit on our ridiculous voting machines during the election, which is now obvious that I won big, making it an even more corrupted embarrassment for the USA. @DNI_Ratcliffe @SecPompeo

    Let’s see . . .

    You’ve got conservative signalling language: Fake News Media; Lamestream; and a dismissive “Russia Russia Russia” chant.

    You’ve got self-congratulations: Everything is under control; and it’s now obvious that Trump won big.

    You’ve got pivot after pivot: Not Russia but maybe China as the hackers; not Solar Wind but election machine hacks that are the real problem.

    I’d hate to have been the briefer tasked with filling in the president.

    • 200Toros says:

      IMPOTUS is the greatest threat to our national security, for all the reasons you mention. The 25th Amendment is dead…
      Thank you for your post Peterr.

  12. Molly Pitcher says:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/19/us/politics/trump-sidney-powell-voter-fraud.html

    According to the NYT: In a meeting at the White House on Friday, the president weighed appointing Sidney Powell [as a Special Counsel], who promoted conspiracy theories about rigged voting machines, to probe voter fraud…Most of his advisers opposed the idea, two of the people briefed on the discussion said, including Rudolph W. Giuliani the president’s personal lawyer, who in recent days sought to have the Department of Homeland Security join the campaign’s efforts to overturn Mr. Trump’s loss in the election….Mr. Giuliani joined the discussion by phone, while Ms. Powell was at the White House for a meeting that became raucous at times, according to one of the people briefed on what took place. Other administration officials drifted in and out of the meeting, two of the people briefed said, and the White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone, pushed back on the ideas being proposed.

    Ms. Powell accused other Trump advisers of being quitters, according to the people briefed….

    • P J Evans says:

      Flynn was there, according to a couple of (unnamed) attendees. And his suggestion of using the military to “fix” the election was shot down. (Personal view, it should be shot down in flames, then bombed to dust, and the dust salted and scattered.)

    • PeterS says:

      So Trump was right about the fake news lamestream media after all: the NYT doesn’t even know the first of April is in, well, April. Hang on, you mean this story is for real??

  13. Vinnie Gambone says:

    This is what we get for failing to call Russia’s 2016 active measures campaigns sabotage and instead referred to it as meddling, a mere trifle.

    Look left, throw right. Yeah they did that.

    America is getting smacked around really bad and nobody seems to be doing anything about it.

  14. John Langston says:

    Trump is motivated by greed, revenge and denial.

    My guess is the first motivation got him into Putin and the third one is where he lives. Trump’s in either so in deep or just wants to ignore the threat. My guess it’s probably both.

    Revenge will be unleashed to anyone that finds the truth regarding the other two.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Exactly. DEFCON 1 is the auto response to every slight. That rigidity is apparent across much of Trump’s conduct.

          • Stacey says:

            Yes, it is, and again, we have Trump NOT behaving like he took it as a slight, the way he would be behaving if he did. Possibly he’s deflecting that so he doesn’t publicly look like it was, but since he literally NEVER criticizes Putin for ANYTHING, I’m guessing he’s not crossways with it at all, for maybe a set of reasons we are not fully aware of yet.

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