[Note by Tim Jones: This week’s column was written by Lawrence Douglas and Alexander George.]

You can just imagine the tweets, denials and equivocating that would follow a murder committed by Trump on Fifth Avenue, can’t you?

The New York Times:

Breaking news: in an eerie echo of Donald Trump’s infamous campaign trail remark – “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters” – many witnesses report, and CCTV footage obtained by the Times confirms, that early this morning the president drew a handgun on his former lawyer Michael Cohen and shot him dead on a street in midtown Manhattan.

House speaker Paul Ryan:

“If these reports are true – I emphasize IF – then yes, I’m very concerned. I don’t think the president should be killing people in broad daylight in front of Tiffany’s. But I’m not a legal expert, I could be wrong.”

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders:

Associated Press: “Ms. Sanders, did the president shoot his former lawyer in an effort to stop him from testifying against the president?”

Sarah Sanders: “No, he did not.”

AP: “Are you saying that the shooting was not motivated by Mr. Cohen’s recent plea deal, or rather that the president did not shoot him?”

SHS: “You’ve got my answer, Jim. No, no, no.”

AP: “Ms. Sanders, I’m still not clear what –”

SHS: “The answer is no. No as in no. N. O. It’s these kinds of questions that have turned the American people against the press.” 


Anderson Cooper: “We’re seeing incredible images here. The president being taken into custody. Kellyanne, what can you tell us?”

Kellyanne Conway: “I’m not going to comment on rumors, Anderson.”

AC: “Kellyanne, these are not rumors. The president has handcuffs around his wrists. You’re seeing the same footage we are.”

KC: “You’re free to see things your way. I have an alternative perception.”

AC: “But how can you possibly –”

KC: “Let’s agree to disagree, Anderson!” 

Senator Mitch McConnell:

“People die every day in this country. I’m not going to let myself get sidetracked by these distractions.”

Tweet from @realDonaldTrump:

“Back from GREAT chat with members of NYPD–the finest! Brand new police station. Very NICE. They want a wall too. Was NEVER taken into custody. FAKE NEWS cooked up by Crooked Hillary and FAILING NYT and CONFLICTED Mueller! Keep our borders strong – JUST SAY NO to murdering and raping Mexicans.”

Rudy Giuliani, president’s attorney:

“Let’s get our facts straight. The president was never taken into custody except for maybe around six hours. He has not been charged with murder and won’t be charged with murder because murder isn’t always murder. The constitution is very clear on this: charging the president with a crime is a crime.”

White House press briefing points:

“First of all, the president was not in Manhattan at the time of the shooting.

Second, he was watching TV on the 26th floor of Trump Tower when the shots were fired.

Third, while he didn’t have the opportunity to save the students at the Parkland school, this time the president was able to rush into a busy city street and thereby save dozens of lives from a distraught and possibly deranged lawyer.”

Words on Target umbrella held by Melania Trump, first lady:

“I really do care.”™

Homeland security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen:

“At this moment I can confirm that one of the alleged eyewitnesses to the shooting is a tourist from Mexico. Certainly, we need to ask what a tourist from Mexico was doing in front of Tiffany’s at the time of this alleged incident. Now can I please eat my taco in peace?”

Alex Jones, Infowars:

“What I want to know is why hasn’t anyone mentioned that Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton were NOWHERE to be seen at the time of the shooting? Are you telling me that’s mere coincidence? C’mon! And why haven’t the NYPD and the DEEP STATE FBI looked into this? What else aren’t they looking into?”

Sean Hannity:

“What about the thousands of bills that Chuck Schumer has killed? What about Hillary’s murder of Vince Foster? And the Democrats dare talk about justice?”

Paul Ryan:

“I never said the president couldn’t kill in broad daylight. I just said I hope the president stays focused on all the great things we’re doing for the American people.”

Tweet from @realDonaldTrump:

“Michael Cohen said he would take a bullet for me. So NO MURDER! And NO COLLUSION!! WITCH HUNTS! Worse than SALEM!!! Never should have let CRIMINAL Comey (lousy writer to! book sales DOWN!) talk me out of executing KILLIN’ Hillary…”

Tweet from @realDonaldTrump:

“…and JIHAD Brennan and LEPRECHAUN Sessions. FAKE NEWS hates Trump because I built a Beautiful Wall. And brought PEACE to England! Now I’m PARDONING myself for NO CRIME! Also pardoning…”

Tweet from @realDonaldTrump:

“…extended family, all former campaign managers, present and future cabinet members. MAGA! #DraintheSwamp”

[Note by Tim Jones: I did not write this piece. It was written by Lawrence Douglas and Alexander George. Douglas is the James J Grosfeld professor of law, jurisprudence and social thought, at Amherst College. George is the Rachel and Michael Deutch professor of philosophy at Amherst College in Amherst, MA. This article first appeared in The Guardian. ]


That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

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© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2018

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