​The Conversation Yet To Be Had

Ivanka comes to talk

(Near future. Interior: Private Residence, White House. Television is on. The president is sitting on a sofa, watching. IVANKA enters.)

“Hey, Marvel.”

“Don’t call me that.”

“You’re my marvel.”

“Dad, I need to talk to you.”

“Shoot.”

“It’s about Jared.”

“Sit, sit. What do you mean? Good boy, good boy, that Jared. Always liked him. Being Jewish never bothered me. It didn’t, you know that. I was surprised, never disappointed you’d fall for one. I love Jews. They love me. Great lawyers, too, like Jared. (To TV). Oh, oh, I’ve seen this before. Listen to this joke about Billary.”

“Would your turn off the TV?”

“Why? This Jesse Watters is funny. Funny guy.”

“Dad, please.”

(The president picks up the remote and does so)

“Okay, it’s off. What, you don’t you like Watters? He’s funny, funnier than Leibowitz, I guarantee you. Wasn’t that great when I called him ‘Leibowitz’? He quit a few months later. Was devastated. He’s been floundering ever since. HBO cancelled him. He’s a no talent.”

“Dad, forget about Stewart.”

“Just saying, he hit me, I hit him back ten — “

“ — Dad, please. I want to talk about Jared. He’s in trouble.”

“What do you mean he’s in trouble? Told him not to buy 666. Bad building. I never would have bought it. I don’t have any money to give him to help him out. The campaign took it —”

“ — He doesn’t need money, it’s not the building. You know what it is.”

“Huh?”

“Kislyak and Gorkov — “

“ — Who?”

“You know who — the ambassador, the banker. Russia.”

“I don’t want to talk about that. Look, that hooker thing, you have to know — “

“ — I don’t care.”

“Honey, that’s all fake news.”

“Who do you think you’re talking to?”

“I wasn’t with a hooker. You think I need to be with a hooker? Your old man’s still got it, doesn’t need to be set up with hookers. I ever tell you, I could have had Princess Di — “

“ — Fuck whoever you want fuck, dad. I don’t care anymore. This isn’t about that; it’s about Jared.’

“He’ll get out of this, even though it’s nothing to get out of.”

“Get out of this? There’s no … he lied for you! He said he didn’t meet with them and he did. You know he did. You told him to meet with them, you knew he met with them, you asked how it went, and then you told him to leave it off the disclosure — “

“ — We talked about it, that’s all.”

“Dad, Mueller is going to ask him about it when he interviews him and he’s going to deny it, again, which means it’s really perjury because he’ll be under oath. That’s lying. That’s jail time. Do you understand the difference? Not like you lying at a press conference … Sorry. Look, he’s doing it for you, always has — the whole back channel thing.”

“I didn’t ask him to do that. It may have come up, maybe I suggested it, but I didn’t say, ‘Hey, get me a backchannel to Russia.”

“The fuck you didn’t!”

“What is with all the fucks? Classy women don’t curse, sweetheart. It’s a turnoff for me. Your mother cursed.”

“I lied for you, dad! Jared did. Don lied for you, Eric lied for you, everybody lied for you. We all testified. Spicer’s having a breakdown because he lied for you so often.”

“Spicer? Who’s that?”

“Never mind.”

“Oh, and Eric? Please. He really is Fredo, your bother. Missed the smart train — I think he fell trying to catch it. Hoo ha! I think Barron’s smarter and what’s he like, 9?”

“11.”

“Hey, the press did get that right about Eric, though. And what did Don do wrong, anyway?”

“Dad, you know what Don did. He was right downstairs when he met that chick Russian lawyer — and Goldstone, Christ, he’s sleazier than Stone, so don’t talk to me like I’m a fucking moron. I’m not Sean Hannity.”

“What do you want me to do about it? Resign?”

(Ivanka is silent)

“Are you nuts? I am not resigning. Clinton did much worse.”

“Just, think about it. If you resign, you save us all, you save yourself. Make them a deal. We go back to the life we had. Agnew resigned and that save him from serious jail time.”

“Who?”

“Okay, forget it. Listen, you don’t like the job, anyway, and we’ve already made all the money we thought we’d make when we started. More even. Who thought they’d go for the hotel in DC, for Chrissakes; so why don’t we just pack up and go — all of us?”

“That’s not going to happen. Would Putin resign? No. Erdogan? No. Even the young guy in France? Macaroon … what’s his name? Whatever. No. They’re leaders. I AM a leader. Better than them, actually, because nobody expected me to win. Name me one leader who did that? There are generals who didn’t do what I did. Did you see those job numbers and the wall?”

“What are you talking about?”

“We’re making America great again.”

“Dad, it’s a hat. It’s all it’s ever been.”

“You know, sweetheart, you’re gorgeous, you really are and you have spunk. Really, really terrific spunk. Even if you weren’t gorgeous, which you are, believe me, your spunk would like wow people. Nordstrom’s will get theirs, I promise you. I know that still bothers you. You know things, lots of things, and I’m very proud of myself for the way you turned out. I mean, your mother deserves some credit, but clearly you take after me. I think everyone can see that, but, uh, you know, um … what we’re you talking about?”

“Dad, you’re not listening.”

“I’m turning America around.”

“Dad, stop! You’re not understanding how serious this is. They know you talked to Putin — or they will.”

“So what? Let ’em find out. Hey, was I not supposed to talk to him? Besides, he genuinely likes me. I can tell. Obama does, too, but won’t admit. He called, Putin did, I called back. I can do that, you know. I’m allowed.”

“Not last year you can’t, not the night before you told Russia to hack Clinton’s emails you can’t.”

“Ach! It’ll blow over. Hey, have you talked to Mel, by the way? She thinks you don’t like her. I told her it’s craz —

“Dad! Listen to me. This is not going to end well.”

“Just go talk to her. For me.”

“You’re going to be impeached!”

“And you think if I resign, I won’t be impeached? That’s not how it works. They’ll impeach me anyway.”

“Omigod!”

“Don’t believe what people are telling you. Those people will impeach me, Schumer and Pelosi, regardless, but the vast majority of Americans, they love me, and they won’t, so it’s not going to happen — they won’t let it happen and they won’t impeach me. Have you seen how many followers I have? Don King doesn’t have that many. I am president. It’s huge being president. People know that. I’m good at it, better than good. Much better, so hand me the remote, marvel bear. They’re re-running The Five pretty soon. Stay and watch TV with me. You want a Diet Coke?”

“Sure.”