David Corn Breaks Down the Full Trump “Hot-Mic” Tape, Moment By Moment

Last week, during the Hatch Act-shattering Republican National Convention, my colleague David Corn published a new hot-mic video of Donald Trump: a 13-minute conversation between Trump and his lawyer, captured during a break between videotaped depositions for the 2015 fraud lawsuit against Trump University.

As David wrote:

Trump boasted about how his company threatened the Better Business Bureau to change the D rating it had assigned Trump University to an A. He complained about the federal judge overseeing the suit, Gonzalo Curiel, elliptically talking about how to challenge him and referring to “the Spanish thing.” Trump also griped that he had been sued personally in this case, and Petrocelli had to explain to Trump that he, not just Trump University itself, was in the legal crosshairs because Trump had been accused of making false statements to promote the venture. And Petrocelli pointed out that the case was not a lock for Trump because some of Trump’s “guys” had been “sloppy.”

We published the original full-length source video as well a shorter video that highlights the most revealing moments from the recording. But The Internet asked for more.

Readers and commenters asked for a full transcript and even more context. (2,000 words isn’t enough?) So we did one better: We had David himself sit down and talk us through the entire video, pausing at critical moments to provide expert context and commentary. (If you enjoyed our other video, think of this like the Director’s Cut—but without the marked-up commemorative box set.)

So sit back. Wind your wristwatch. Fix your hair just so. And take in our full-length breakdown of a video that reveals how our current president conducted his private business when he thought the cameras weren’t rolling.

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WE'LL BE BLUNT.

We have a considerable $390,000 gap in our online fundraising budget that we have to close by June 30. There is no wiggle room, we've already cut everything we can, and we urgently need more readers to pitch in—especially from this specific blurb you're reading right now.

We'll also be quite transparent and level-headed with you about this.

In "News Never Pays," our fearless CEO, Monika Bauerlein, connects the dots on several concerning media trends that, taken together, expose the fallacy behind the tragic state of journalism right now: That the marketplace will take care of providing the free and independent press citizens in a democracy need, and the Next New Thing to invest millions in will fix the problem. Bottom line: Journalism that serves the people needs the support of the people. That's the Next New Thing.

And it's what MoJo and our community of readers have been doing for 47 years now.

But staying afloat is harder than ever.

In "This Is Not a Crisis. It's The New Normal," we explain, as matter-of-factly as we can, what exactly our finances look like, why this moment is particularly urgent, and how we can best communicate that without screaming OMG PLEASE HELP over and over. We also touch on our history and how our nonprofit model makes Mother Jones different than most of the news out there: Letting us go deep, focus on underreported beats, and bring unique perspectives to the day's news.

You're here for reporting like that, not fundraising, but one cannot exist without the other, and it's vitally important that we hit our intimidating $390,000 number in online donations by June 30.

And we hope you might consider pitching in before moving on to whatever it is you're about to do next. It's going to be a nail-biter, and we really need to see donations from this specific ask coming in strong if we're going to get there.

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