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Let Me Finish by Chris Christie


Some people obsessively watch soaps. I have never seen even an episode of Game of Thrones – although I will admit to binge-watching both The Crown and Frankie and Grace. I also have a soft spot for the Aussie drama, Rake, which follows hapless barrister Cleaver Green who routinely brushes with corrupt politicians, eventually becoming one. All are compelling to watch, but none of these have so far proven as addictive for me as the chaotic presidency of Donald Trump. Truth, it is said, is sometimes stranger than fiction.


The Trump presidency is the gift that keeps on giving. I am every day incredulous at the tales of corruption and incompetency which surface. Frequently these fresh allegations are accompanied by incomprehensible tweets from the president himself. How did this theatre of stupidity come to be played out so dramatically on the world stage?


At the heart of it all is a slew of tell-alls hot off the press and fresh from the dripping (poisonous) pens of a revolving door of replaced staffers so vast that Wikipedia has devoted pages to it. (I scrolled for several pages, before reaching my boredom threshold). Some of these departures have set new records for the shortest tenures in the roles. It seems the halls of the White House ring daily with the cries of “You’re fired!”


Given that this is the catch cry reality-television star-turned-President Donald Trump made famous, it would be tempting to believe it was true. It would certainly make great TV. But it seems that it’s not the power on the throne, but the power behind it, which is responsible for all of these departures. And that is exactly what makes the latest tell-all from Chris Christie so compelling.


Among the many people coming and going from the White House you had never heard of, Chris Christie is one of the few whose name might ring a bell. Christie was a two-term governor of New Jersey, a former federal prosecutor and also a presidential candidate. He’s a long term friend of Donald Trump and was previously head of the current president’s transition team – a position from which he was surreptitiously removed.


“I know exactly how this happened,” writes Christie. “I was there for most of it. I did everything to make sure my friend Donald reached the White House fully prepared to serve. But a handful of selfish individuals side-tracked our very best efforts. They have set loose toxic forces that have made Trump’s presidency far less effective than it would otherwise have been. If this tragedy is ever going to be reversed it is vital that everyone know (sic) exactly how it occurred.”


Spoiler alert: Jared Kushner (along with cameo performances by the president’s own children) is fingered for much of the blame for the hoopla at the White House. Now, it’s important to know that Christie and the Kushner family have a long history. Christie sent Kushner’s father to prison for a 14-month stint for - among other crimes - tax evasion, witness tampering and a scandal involving a prostitute. On the surface it seems that this fine young man has a lot in common with his in-laws. Not the least that he believes his father’s crimes should have been dealt with in-house by the rabbis and the family. In other words he thought the Kushners were above the law.

It is entirely possible that it is this type of thinking that informs the young Kushners current actions.


God bless him. For suddenly there is nothing more certain in this world: (where only death and taxes could previously be relied on) tomorrow there will be a fresh scandal at the White House. Oh, and of course there’s always Robert Mueller waiting in the wings.


Reviewer: Peta Stavelli

Hachette NZ, RRP $32.99


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