I’ve Been Staring at Donald Trump’s Notes for an Hour and I Still Don’t Know What to Make of Them

I can’t stop staring at this photo of Trump’s notes.

Mark Wilson/Getty

“Tell Zellinsky to do the right thing,” his notes read. (There are many accepted spellings of the last name of President of Ukraine, but “Zellinsky” is not one of them.) “This is the final word from the Pres of the U.S.” His notepad appears to be lying on top of a print-out of one of his own tweets.

I can’t shake the feeling that this is what the notes of Charlie from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia must have looked like when he wrote, “Democratic vote for me is right thing to do, Philadelphia, so do.”

Trump referred to these notes while he spoke from the White House lawn following US ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland’s Wednesday morning testimony that there was, in fact, a quid pro quo. Trump cited Sondland’s previous testimony in which he quoted Trump as saying, “I want no quid pro quo.”

Here are some more totally unhinged notes, titled “Ambas Gordon Sundland says.”

Mark Wilson/Getty

Watch Trump’s crazed press briefing here:


Listen to Washington, DC Bureau Chief David Corn describe the outrageous partisan theatrics playing out inside the impeachment room, and the mounting evidence against Donald Trump, in the latest episode of the Mother Jones Podcast:

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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