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Garvan Walshe is a former National and International Security Policy Adviser to the Conservative Party. He runs TRD Policy.

The Oval Office

“Trudeau. What an idiot, Kelly, eh?”

“Yes, Mr President, but -”

“The guy’s got no respect. None. Doesn’t he know who I am? About time he learnt who’s boss. Put the tariffs on Canada.”

Seated on the sofa in front of the presidential desk, Jim ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis, Secretary of Defence rolls his eyes. “There’s no ‘the’. They’re just tariffs,” he thinks to himself.

“They’re in NAF -”

“I hate NAFTA. Gets in the way. What about the national security threat thing you were talking about?”

“Canada? They’re part of NORAD. They help us watch for the Russians.”

(Trump glazes over. He imagines that night in St Petersburg. Or was it Moscow? Maybe Arron knows which is which.)

“Mr President!”

“Huh? I wasn’t sleeping, you know. I never sleep.”

“Yes, Mr President, you have executive time.”

“NORAD? Wasn’t that the thing to help the Irish freedom fighters. Great guys. A lotta them worked in my buildings.”

“That was NORAID”

“NORAD, NORAID, what’s the difference…”

“The Brits wouldn’t think so.”

“Who cares about the Brits? I don’t care about any of the countries Angela Merkel runs. Dangerous woman. The most dangerous woman. And I’ve known a lot of dangerous women. And, Kelly, her trade surplus is killing us. They’re screwing hundreds of billions of dollars from us every year. Freeze them out. I want to do a deal with someone who has the smallest trade surplus with us. Mike! Who do we have the smallest trade surplus with?”

“The Secretary of State’s not here, sir”

“Get him in!”

“He’s in Beijing, sir.”

“Put him on a damn plane. We still have planes, right? They’re not all made by the Chinese!”

“Very well, sir. He’ll be here tomorrow morning. Now you can have some executive time.”

The President’s eyes light up.

“Does that mean I can tweet?”

“Yes, Mr President.”

The next morning

“The Secretary of State, Mr President”

“Mike! Great to see you. Thought you were in Asia, screwing the Chinese.”

A low voice on the couch: “Not as good as screwing the Rus-”

“What was that, Jim? I’m not going deaf. I’m in perfect health. My doctor said so.”

“Nothing, Mr President.”

“Anyway, Mike, what are you here for?”

“You brought me back from China, Mr President.”

“Oh yeah, Kelly! Why did I bring him back?”

“You wanted to find our best ally, the one with the smallest trade surplus.”

“Got it. Mike, who has the smallest trade surplus with us?”

“North Korea, sir.”

“Are they an ally?”

“No, sir, they’re a rogue state trying to get way with building illegal nukes.”

“Good. They won’t be screwing us by mooching off our military.”

“You’re absolutely right, Mr President.”

“Who’s in charge there?”

“Kim.”

“Wasn’t she here a couple of weeks ago?”

“Uh…no. This one’s a young man.”

“Oh. Rocket Man. Almost as big an ass as Kardashian!”

Trump roars with laughter. Pompeo and Kelly join him. Mattis, slinking further into the sofa, mutters something about enlisted men.

“Mike? Does he have good hotels?”

“Not really, sir. He’s more into concentration camps.”

“But there are amazing beaches there, untouched by development because his country’s so poor people eat grass and rats.”

“Space for golf courses?”

“I’m sure.”

“Mr President,” says Pompeo, “He’s a tough one. Nobody’s managed to get him to stick to a deal. Not Obama, obviously. Not even George W.”

“But I’m the best. I’ll do a huge deal with him. The biggest.”

“That’s right, it’ll be the biggest deal.”

“You could even get the Nobel Peace Prize. And unlike Obama, you’ll actually have done something for it.”

“Why would I want something Obama got?”

“Not just him, Henry got it, too.”

“English King Henry? He was a real king. Had more wives than me. I need to catch up.”

“Kissinger.”

Mattis has at this point hidden under the sofa.

“But Kim’s paranoid. He had his own brother killed. How do we get to him to trust us?”

“What is he into?”

“Movies. He loves movies. Thinks Hollywood’s the best thing ever.”

“Did he like The Apprentice?”

“Uh…”

“So, I’ve got it. Let’s make him a movie star.”

“A movie star?”

“He could be in his own action film: just him and me. Two men. The world in their hands. Just Kim and me. Saving the world. Bringing peace.”

“What?”

“Make him a trailer. Speedboats. Rockets. A big sphere like the one we had in Saudi Arabia. Harvey Keitel doing the voice over. You got people who can do that?”

“I sure did when I was at the CIA.”

“Get Gina in here. But no waterboarding this time.”

“Yes, Mr President.”

35 comments for: Garvan Walshe: How Trump came to deal with Kim Jong Un – the inside story

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