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Confessions of a White House staffer: forgotten coffees and flustered phone calls

Things are not at all well in Conwayland

November 12, 2019

11:53 AM

12 November 2019

11:53 AM

Things have been frantic over the last few days, as I’ve been forced to assist one of my bosses in working out the promotional schedule for their book release…without revealing who they are. It’s tough enough to deal with TV bookers and managing editors when the author’s identity is no secret — but the real exhaustion comes from the cloak-and-dagger routine of ensuring no one high up notices a ‘senior administration official’ moving meetings to call his (or her!) literary agents and fire off excerpts to his (or her!) buddies Rachel and Yashar. It’s a lot easier to book a senior admin official when you know they’re going to say something bad about POTUS. A far cry from the lose-lose situation I have when putting Kellyanne or Mick on ‘State of the Union’ to defend Trump’s latest tweet about lynching. Although let’s be honest, Mick could use the brownie points. Fortunately it’ll all be over soon: I’m hearing there will be a grand reveal when sales start to tail off. Seems like a risky move to me — anonymity is bliss!

It looks likes it’s not going to be ‘all Anonymous all the time’ – not if the Great Mustachioed One has anything to say about it. From what I hear, John Bolton, everyone’s favorite enemy, has much to say. Not only is Bolton, the former national security adviser, desperate to talk to the impeachment investigators, but he now has a big book contract. One of my drinking buddies works for Bolton’s agent so had sight of the pitch that resulted in a multi-million dollar advance. He promised to stick the knife into POTUS’s back while spilling the beans about Iran, North Korea, China and every twist and turn of Trump’s mercurial foreign policy. Even in the short time I got to see Bolton up close and personal, I came to truly appreciate just why he is so loathed by everyone from Mike Pompeo and Mick Mulvaney to everyone outside the White House. The problem for POTUS is that Bolton took voluminous contemporaneous notes and so is able to quote the president verbatim. Given that his role in the Trump merry-go-round will be his last appointment ever, could this be the time for a final settlement of scores?

As if I wasn’t flustered enough, it was my turn to do the office coffee run this morning. Usually I’m pretty good with it: skim latte for Ivanka, nitro cold brew black for Stephanie Grisham, no soy for anyone visiting from DHS. I freaked out when I got back into the West Wing and realized I was one cup short. Fortunately, I’d only forgotten Mick Mulvaney’s macchiato, so no one really cared. Phew!

Love is in the air at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with the announcement of Stephen Miller’s engagement to Katie Waldman. The romance blossomed after the pair learned of their shared interests like hardline immigration policy. Rumor has it Waldman would even include love notes in code in her press releases defending family separation. How sweet! Miller was apparently wrapping up a terse phone call with Ken Cuccinelli before he surprised Waldman with the giant rock in the couple’s home. Mercifully he didn’t put on any of that god awful spray-on hair for the engagement photos.

Not everyone is swooning though: I walked in on fitness freak Hogan Gidley weeping into a protein shake in his office the other day. Gidley can’t be the only one wondering why he’s still on the market and Miller isn’t. Maybe if Hogan stopped bringing tupperware containers filled with skinless grilled chicken and steamed broccoli to after work happy hours, he might have a better chance of attracting a mate.

Speaking of marital bliss, I overheard a very agitated Kellyanne Conway on the phone in a deserted Rose Garden after the Nats visit to the White House. She was looking redder than her jumpsuit, and, at first, I wondered whether she was chastising her NeverTrump husband George for his Twitter tirades against her boss. But no — it turned out she was just chewing out another junior reporter, a longtime favorite pastime of hers. We all have to blow off steam somehow, I guess!

Actually, things are not at all well in Conwayland. A friend of mine was at a small dinner with George the other night and for the first time the ‘D’ word was brought up. And we’re not talking Donald here.


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