I’ve Been Staring at Donald Trump’s Notes for an Hour and I Still Don’t Know What to Make of Them

I can’t stop staring at this photo of Trump’s notes.

Mark Wilson/Getty

“Tell Zellinsky to do the right thing,” his notes read. (There are many accepted spellings of the last name of President of Ukraine, but “Zellinsky” is not one of them.) “This is the final word from the Pres of the U.S.” His notepad appears to be lying on top of a print-out of one of his own tweets.

I can’t shake the feeling that this is what the notes of Charlie from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia must have looked like when he wrote, “Democratic vote for me is right thing to do, Philadelphia, so do.”

Trump referred to these notes while he spoke from the White House lawn following US ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland’s Wednesday morning testimony that there was, in fact, a quid pro quo. Trump cited Sondland’s previous testimony in which he quoted Trump as saying, “I want no quid pro quo.”

Here are some more totally unhinged notes, titled “Ambas Gordon Sundland says.”

Mark Wilson/Getty

Watch Trump’s crazed press briefing here:


Listen to Washington, DC Bureau Chief David Corn describe the outrageous partisan theatrics playing out inside the impeachment room, and the mounting evidence against Donald Trump, in the latest episode of the Mother Jones Podcast:

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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