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:

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate