Olivia Nuzzi has some good reporting at New York Magazine. Here is a taste of her piece, “Senior Trump Official: We Were Wrong, He’s a ‘Fascist’“:
On Friday afternoon, 48 hours after the U.S. Capitol was stormed by violent insurrectionists encouraged by Donald Trump in an attempt to overthrow the government in protest of his election loss, a senior member of his administration spoke to me while he was driving to work.
“This is confirmation of so much that everyone has said for years now — things that a lot of us thought were hyperbolic. We’d say, ‘Trump’s not a fascist,’ or ‘He’s not a wannabe dictator.’ Now, it’s like, ‘Well, what do you even say in response to that now?’”
For four years, people like this official — lifelong Republican operatives — have convinced themselves that Trump’s obvious faults were worth tolerating if it meant implementing a conservative policy agenda. These officials believed the benefits of remaking the courts with conservative justices, or passing tax reform, outweighed the risks that a Trump presidency posed to democracy and to the reputation of the country in the world. Now, at the 11th hour, with 12 days left before Joe Biden is sworn into office, it’s clear to some that it was always a delusion.
This adviser, who spoke to Trump on Wednesday amid the siege, said Trump watched the events on television intently. CNN reported that he was so excited by the action, it “freaked out” some staffers around him. The adviser told me that Trump expressed disgust on aesthetic grounds over how “low class” his supporters looked. “He doesn’t like low-class things,” the adviser said, explaining that Trump had a similar reaction over the summer to a video of Brad Parscale, his former campaign manager, shirtless and drinking a beer in his driveway during a mental-health emergency in which police tackled him and seized his weapons. “He kept mentioning, ‘Oh, did you see him in his beer shirt?’ He was annoyed. To him, it’s just low class, in other words.”
Read the entire piece here.