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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THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

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