Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity… and I’m not sure about the universe. – Albert Einstein
As you can imagine, I was quite surprised to be invited to the White House and I was hesitant to accept the invitation, to say the least. But the young man who contacted me assured me that I would not be walking into some kind of oval office trap. “We could really use your help,” he said. And seemed quite sincere. So I thought (and I’m pretty sure I said this to the young man) “What the f#*K? Why not?”
As surreal as it was – and believe me, it was surreal, there I was in the White House. I had met with four people when I arrived. One was the young man who had contacted me. One was John Kelley and I did not recognize the other two. One man, one woman, both probably in late 30’s, maybe 40. The woman did almost all of the talking. She explained why they had invited me and what they wanted me to do. This time I am sure I did not say it out loud but I did think it as loudly as possible: “What the F#*K?” There was a delay – a couple of beats – and then my next thought showed up: “Why not?”
And so it was…
“Come in, Mr. President, and thank you for agreeing to meet with me.” I had been installed in a small office that I think is somewhere in or near the West Wing. I was surprised that there were any small offices in the White House but this room was about the size of two walk-in closets. Essentially it was like I was being put into a cage with Donald Trump. Second thoughts? You bet.
But I continued, poker face intact. I stood to extend my hand, bracing for a competitive handshake, during which I was ready to take a dive. It was imperative that he win the first handshake. But he opted out, waving my hand away. “What are you doing here? No, I mean, what am I doing here? Well, I know why I am here. I am President of the United States, won by a landslide by the way. Biggest win ever.”
“I promise that I won’t take much of your time. General Kelly asked me to speak you,” I said, sitting back down, hoping that DT would follow suit. And he did. Phase one successful. I was sitting face to face in a closet office with Donald Trump.
He sat down, exhaled and asked, “What do you want?” Sort of like an adolescent sigh of resignation – you know, like he was thinking, “Can just get this over with?”
Did you say, “General Johnny asked you to meet with me?”
“Who? Oh yes, General Kelly. Yes. He invited me here.”