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Monday, June 12, 2017

"I'll wipe the floor with guys who were disloyal to me"

by digby

With his mentor Roy Cohn

Trump in 1992. Sounds like the guy described by Comey:

He's a person who commonly demands loyalty from people. He has done this for years. He also talks constantly about "getting even." In fact, he's obsessed with it:

Trump has other qualities that many evangelicals admit they admire: wealth and success and — don’t let this surprise you — ruthlessness. Trump first addressed a Liberty University audience in September 2012, after his failed presidential bid. In his remarks, he suggested to students that they need to “get even” with adversaries in order to succeed, prompting an outcry over whether this advice was compatible with Christian values.

At the time, Trump’s special counsel, Michael Cohen — without pushback from Liberty — told ABC News that he conferred with a Liberty official, who confirmed, in Cohen’s words, that “the Bible is filled with stories of God getting even with his enemies, Jesus got even with the Pharisees and Christians believe that Jesus even got even with Satan by rising from the dead. God is portrayed as giving grace, but he is also portrayed as one tough character — just as Trump stated.”

Falwell later told a Christian radio program that he took Trump’s advice to mean that often succeeding in life requires “being tough.”

Recall this example of him getting even with a Miss Universe he felt had been disrespectful:

In 2011, Donald Trump brought a former Miss Universe onstage during a speech to embarrass her with a joke about orgasms. A video recording shows the Republican presidential candidate calling Miss Universe 2004, Australian Jennifer Hawkins, up to the podium to illustrate the concept of revenge for his audience.

“I believe in it: Get even with people,” Trump says at the event in Sydney, Australia. “If they screw you, screw them back 10 times as hard.” The audience cheered.

“I mean, I’ll give you an example: Jennifer Hawkins,” he continues. “Where is Jennifer? Where is she sitting? Come up here, Jennifer. First of all, how beautiful is Jennifer? Now, but this is about getting even. I was so angry at her yesterday. Seriously, because as I said, I thought that she dissed me. I thought that my Jennifer―I’m going around saying she’s my favorite Miss Universe. Well, I think I like the new one better, Jennifer.”

There is more applause from the audience as Hawkins steps onto the stage. Trump continues with a story about a perceived slight from a woman he thought owed him some kind of favor. “So I go around saying she’s the greatest, she writes books. They call me, I say, ‘Ugh, I don’t want to answer another Jennifer Hawkins question—she’s fantastic!’ And then when I came here, there was no Jennifer Hawkins to introduce me.”

Hawkins, laughing, tries to explain what she calls a “miscommunication,” and Trump interrupts her. “I was actually going to get up and tell you that Jennifer is a beautiful girl on the outside, but she’s not very bright,” he said. “But that wouldn’t have been true, but I would have said it anyway.” This is a classic Trump humiliation tactic: insulting someone by saying he’d considered insulting her, then thought better of it, as when he congratulated himself for not mentioning Bill Clinton’s infidelity during the first presidential debate.

“She’s so great, and she did so well, and she’s a big star here, and I helped her make it―I own the Miss Universe pageant. And I heard that she wouldn’t introduce me,” Trump continues in the video. “But I did,” Hawkins protests.

“No, but you didn’t,” Trump says, to laughter from the audience. “So what happens is―and you know what? She came tonight, she came, came, she came, she came.” Trump grins and motions a kind of “come here” gesture with his hands, repeating the word as the crowd cheers and whistles. “See, so they have the same filthy minds in Australia,” he says. “No, but here’s the beauty. When she found out about it, she got in that car, and she got her ass over here, and I love her.”

Hawkins ends with a quick bit of nervous laughter and apologizes for what she says was a misunderstanding with her management. Trump wraps up the exchange by making a comment about her height, wrapping his arm around Hawkins’ waist, and leaning in to kiss her. She turns her face, directing his lips to her cheek, and brings her arm between their chests. “Can I sit down now?” she asks.

The Trump in this video is the same Trump we’ve seen all campaign long, the “man you can bait with a tweet,” as Hillary Clinton has called him. It’s the hypersensitive megalomaniac who explodes whenever someone places so much as a single toe upon his paper-thin ego. Trump told a rare truth in this speech: Whether the affront is real or imagined, large or small, with him, it always ends in payback.

He demands loyalty. And if he doesn't get it he gets even. That's who he has always been and it's who he is now.