What follows is the transcript of a recent meeting held at an undisclosed location in midtown Manhattan. Those present include Donald Trump, ousted Fox News chief Roger Ailes, Trump campaign CEO and founder of Breitbart News Steve Bannon, Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn (Ret.), Trump’s daughter Ivanka, her husband Jared Kushner, and recently disgraced former Today show co-host Billy Bush.
Flynn: Things appear to be going well.
Donald: Extremely well. Kellyanne tells me at this point we’ll be lucky to take Texas.
Bannon: Like I’ve said from the beginning, losing a squeaker in Texas would be the frosting on the cake, even sweeter than tanking in Ohio. At the mere mention of fraud, we’re talking another three, three-and-a-half million viewers right out of the chute.
Ailes: A stampede of pissed-off Texans. Talk about a thing of beauty.
Donald: You want to see a thing of beauty, Ivanka, stand up and turn around.
Donald: No, Darling, go ahead.
(Silence then rustling)
Donald: Am I right, or am I right?
Ailes: (in background) Killer rack.
Donald: (In background) Tell me about it.
Kushner: Getting back to —
Donald: Losing Texas would be a major coup for us, absolutely. But God I’d miss sticking it to that putz Cruz. Not to mention Forty-Three, the smug bastard.
Billy: Hey, that’s my cousin you’re talking about. Heh, heh.
Donald: The man’s a disgrace.
Kushner: So Roger, who’s on board at this point?
Ailes: Hannity for sure. Van Susteren, Shepard Smith —
Donald: Shep came out last week. Gay. Excellent. We can use the gays.
Ivanka: What about Megyn Kelly?
Ailes: She’s been a lock from day one.
Donald: The woman can’t get enough of me.
Bannon: Bill O’Reilly?
Ailes: Being the one true god; he’ll no doubt hold out till the bitter end.
Kushner: Word on the street is he’s looking to retire when his contract’s up.
Donald: I don’t see the problem. We buy out his contract, massage his ego, double his pay, he’ll work till they’re dabbing drool off his tie. I guarantee you.
Ivanka: To me it’s not just about the A-listers. To crush Fox we need to nab as much mid-level talent as we can as early as possible, so the public gets the impression of rats deserting a sinking ship.
Kushner: Sweetie, I’m not sure we want to be characterizing the folks who’ll be jumping onto our ship as “rats.”
Ivanka: (in background) Patronize me like that again in front of Dad, I’ll julienne your pickle with a chain saw.
Ailes: (clears throat) I assume you’ve got your people fine tuning the speech.
Donald: Absolutely. It’s going to be awesome. No one’s going to believe how awesome it’s going to be.
Billy: What speech?
Ailes: What speech. That’s a good one, Billy.
Billy: No, seriously, what speech?
Bannon: As the results trickle in, we’ll obviously be tweaking it to reflect what’s happening in real time. The plan is, once ninety percent of the vote’s been counted in every state, Donald will cry foul wherever the spread’s under three percent, or as high as five or six in the smaller states where the absolute count is close.
Kushner: How many states are we looking at?
Bannon: We’re shooting for ten, maybe twelve. But we’ll be happy with eight.
Ivanka: Talk about a clusterf—k. The fallout from this should easily get us through Hillary’s first term.
Ailes: Not only that, our most conservative forecast has us eclipsing Fox, CNN, and MSNBC combined well before the ’18 mid-terms.
(Sounds of high fives and celebration)
Flynn: I gotta hand it to you, Donald. This whole scheme’s been a work of art from the get go… And the way you’ve kept your base on the brink of rabid insurgency these last few weeks by telling Congress to go f—k itself… Absolutely brilliant.
Donald: Thanks Mike, coming from you, that means a lot.
Flynn: The best part’s how out-of-control and self-destructive the rest of the country thinks you are.
Donald: People are stupid, what can I say.
Billy: True dat.
Donald: But the real truth is, I owe it all to Melania…
(Murmuring and rustling)
Donald: Seriously. People think Melania’s a lukewarm pulse with a great body — and let me tell you, in case you haven’t noticed, she’s got a great body, fantastic body. But after we kicked ass on Super Tuesday, and she warned me there was no way she’d be caught dead slumming in the White House for four years, the idea just sort of popped into my head. I swear, Trump TV. Popped into my head, just like that.
Billy: Excuse me… excuse me.
Donald: Yeah, Billy… Everybody… The one and only Billy Bush!
(whistling and a smattering of applause)
Billy: I was just… Thank you guys… I was just, y’know, wondering… if maybe someone could explain why exactly you all wanted me here today.
Donald: You wanna take that, Steve?
Bannon: Absolutely… Billy, you couldn’t possibly have known it at the time, but without your contribution there’s a chance we could have actually won this thing, which would have been a total disaster. We owe you son, and to show our gratitude we’re prepared to make you the eventual face of the Trump TV Network.
Billy: No way, are you f—king kidding me?
Donald: This thing is going to be huge, Billy. Really, really huge. We’re going to rule the airwaves like nobody ever has. Nobody. And as great as I am, and you know how great that is —
Billy: Tremendously great, Dude.
Donald: Exactly. Anyway, as great as I am there’s an outside chance I’m not going to live forever and people have been saying you’re the perfect person to carry the torch forward.
Billy: Wow, man, that is, like, so, so totally bitchin’.
Donald: And I’m not just talking with the network.
Billy: Whaddya mean?
Donald: Everyone… raise your glasses. To 2020 and the next Republican President of the United States… the only member of his pathetic family who isn’t a total loser, William Hall “Billy” Bush.
Group: Hear! hear!
Flynn: To Forty-Six!
End of recording.
© 2016 Ron Dulaney