Donald Trump treated the White House like a ride at Universal Studios, according to a new book. In This Will Not Pass, authors and New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns spoke to New Jersey governor Phil Murphy (D), who told them that the former-president kept a room stocked with MAGA merch next to the Oval Office. “They literally hand you a shopping bag, and you took anything you’d like,” he said.
Murphy visited Trump at the White House in April 2020 to discuss the pandemic. It was a (strategically) friendly enough meeting, with the former-president saying, “You can’t have a better representative than this man. That I can tell you.” But by December 2020, the relationship had soured. Murphy had less kind things to say about Trump.
“There was some amount of evidence that they knew more than they were letting on, and that sure as heck would have helped us to have that knowledge,” Murphy said. “There’s no question about that.” Murphy said that the lack of a national testing strategy – he called it a “kind of patchwork quilt” – a failure to make “reliable, verifiable data” available to the public, and a failure to mobilize the Defense Production Act early on, made the governing more difficult. “All of that would have really helped. It would have helped New Jersey. It would have helped the country,” he said.
Murphy added, “We have likewise suffered from the get-go with the absence of a national strategy, a national consistent theme that face masks actually are not political, they save lives.” But at least he got an overpriced MAGA bear out of it.
(Via the Hill)