Donald Trump Has Secret Policy Papers He Refuses to Let the Public See

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Gabe Sherman writes today about the vicious backstabbing that’s taking place inside the Trump campaign. “Considering they have a staff of, like, three people at headquarters, there’s a lot of infighting,” one source told him.

Unsurprisingly, the biggest friction seems to be between longtime Trump advisors and younger newcomers hired specifically for the campaign. But the biggest spats were apparently between two of the political hires: advisor Sam Nunberg and campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. This particular piece intrigued me:

Nunberg’s firing and the turmoil it’s caused in Trumpworld illustrates the difficulty Lewandowski has faced wresting control of the campaign. For months, according to a source, he’d been at odds with Nunberg. Not long after becoming campaign manager, Lewandowski instructed Nunberg, who’d been a Trump adviser for several years, to work from home instead of headquarters, a source said. Nunberg felt further marginalized when Lewandowski had him bumped off several campaign trips. The biggest flashpoint, however, was Lewandowski’s refusal to release detailed policy papers Nunberg had written for Trump. “The campaign was getting killed for having no substance, and Corey wouldn’t release them,” a source close to the campaign explained.

Oh, please, please, please: someone leak me a copy of these “detailed policy papers.” I want to see them so much. I’ll bet the blog would write itself for a week.

On a more serious note, this can’t possibly be a true dispute between Lewandowski and Nunberg. Either Trump wants policy papers or he doesn’t. And if he does, he either liked Nunberg’s drafts or he didn’t. Whatever happened here, it happened because Trump wanted it that way.

And my guess is that Trump knows perfectly well that policy papers are a no-win proposition for him. Once released, he’d have to defend everything in them, and he’d have to do it seriously. The press would lose interest quickly as he became just another pol. He’d much rather tell entertaining whoppers about sending Carl Icahn to negotiate with China, or unilaterally charging Ford a 35 percent tax if it built a factory in Mexico. That gets the crowd pumped, and this stuff is so transparently absurd that no one ever bothers trying to get him to defend it. That would ruin all the fun. For Trump, then, the blowhard approach works better; it’s more amusing; and it takes a lot less time. No need to fix things until they’re broken.

BY THE WAY: As long as we’re on the subject, you may be fascinated to know that I share a pretty classy genealogy with Trump. My Drum ancestors come from the village of Ulmet in Germany, where the name is spelled variously Drum, Drumm, Trumm, and Trump. The Donald’s great-grandfather, Christian Johannes Trump, hails from Kallstadt, a village about 30 miles away in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. More than likely, there’s some shared ancestry if we just go back a few centuries.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate