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"Nobody is in control of the story right now, and ordinarily, that would be a cause for concern," writes Pierce. But perhaps this is just the strongest signal that this, indeed, is the early beginning of an early end. (Photo: Getty)

This Feels Like a Turning Point

Nobody is in control of the narrative right now.

Charles P. Pierce

 by Esquire

When we last left Camp Runamuck, and it was only this morning, there was some question as to whether the walls of the East Room ought to be discreetly padded. Since then, and it's only been about six hours, every single element of the most recent account of why the president* iced James Comey had been refuted, much of it by the president* himself, who sat down for a whopper of an interview with Lester Holt of NBC and proceeded to make clowns out of Sean Spicer, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Rod Rosenstein, and most conspicuously of all, Vice President Mike Pence, who must wish he were back being the incredibly unpopular governor of Indiana. It is getting very crowded under the bus.

Before addressing the interview itself, let us contemplate how truly woolly-headed stupid even doing the interview was, especially this week, when the president*'s credibility was being quite competently shredded without his help. His staff should don masks and catch rides deep into the Appalachians. His lawyers should get out of the business. It's now abundantly clear that there simply is nobody alive who can stop this guy from doing anything. I can't imagine what he'd be like as an actual defendant. He might bite the judge in the balls, or he might pin everything on Tiffany.

Anyway, remember on Wednesday, when the story was that it was Rosenstein's unsolicited bill of particulars that made the president* fire Comey? Well, it became Thursday, and we were back with the master of The Deal, who doesn't let lesser men close for him.

But first, just a little slander:

TRUMP: He's a showboat, he's a grandstander, the FBI has been in turmoil, you know that, I know that, everybody knows that. You take a look at the FBI a year ago, it was in virtual turmoil. Less than a year ago, it hasn't recovered from that.

And irony takes a big swig of Virginia Gentleman, shoots up some fine Afghan H, and walks into a propeller blade.

HOLT: Monday you met with the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein—

TRUMP: Right.

HOLT: Did you ask for a recommendation?

TRUMP: What I did, is I was going to fire Comey. My decision. It was not –

HOLT: You had made the decision before they came into the room?

TRUMP: I was going to fire Comey. There's no good time to do it, by the way. They—

HOLT: Because in your letter you said, "I accepted their recommendation." So you had already made the decision?

TRUMP: Oh, I was going to fire regardless of recommendation.

HOLT: So there really wasn't a –

TRUMP: He made a recommendation. He's highly respected, very good guy, very smart guy, the Democrats like him, the Republicans like him. He made a recommendation, but regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey.

Does any of this really matter anymore? Not the cover-up, because there is a cover-up, and not because of what is being covered up, because something damned serious is being covered up. But all the persiflage that's flying around from the president*, and the staffers he sends out there to fly the Alps blindfolded, and all his congressional bobos who are fine with handing the government of the United States over to an only-partially-hinged ignoramus as long as their donors get their tax cuts and more of the planet to despoil.

These people have bargained themselves for cheap. There are rats in all their words. They are the mere husks of public servants, and they're complicit in the act of hollowing out the republic. If they remain willing to do it, I honestly don't know where we're all going. But there is, at the moment, a sense of a great turning in events. Nobody is in control of the story right now, and ordinarily, that would be a cause for concern. But chaos turns upon itself eventually, and that may be the best shot we have.


© 2021 Esquire
Charles P. Pierce

Charles P. Pierce

Charles P. Pierce is a writer-at-large for Esquire and his work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the LA Times Magazine, the Nation, the Atlantic, Sports Illustrated and The Chicago Tribune, among others.

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