The book party for The Conservative Case for Trump at a gorgeous Mansard-roofed Victorian townhouse in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia was the antithesis of any event involving Donald Trump. Just outside the home were cobblestone streets and old-fashioned gas lamps. Inside was a serene, sophisticated, WASPY crowd.
Not a single person wore a T-shirt that read “Trump That Bitch” or “Hillary Sucks But Not Like Monica.” Not a single punch was thrown.
Guests who came to celebrate Brett Decker‘s book downed wine and hors’doerves. They listened patiently while smart Washington types called out questions to the author, who stood in a dark suit and tie behind a table stacked with his books. He co-wrote and researched the book with Conservative icon, lawyer and activist Phyllis Schlafley and former head of the Missouri Republican Party Ed Martin.
Some members of the media were in attendance. None were shouted at, called “liars” or told that they “suck.”
It’s fair to say that Decker, a writer for the White House Writers Group and a longtime former editorial editor at The Washington Times, is a Trump diehard. Perhaps the weirdest thing about the book is how long he took to write it: 13 days. And it isn’t lacking in extensive research and detail.
The author holed up in the townhouse and spent many sleepless nights writing it. He also traveled out to Palm Desert, Calif., where friends put him up while he wrote.
“I was probably a little gruff,” he sad of his time at the Victorian townhouse. “I wasn’t shaving. I was like, ‘I’ll get to know you in two weeks.’ The schedule was one chapter a day without any research help.”
He insists Trump had no input in the writing process. “I would have liked more,” he admitted. “It wasn’t a project done in coordination with the campaign.”
Schlafly died the day before the book launch. “So it was very shocking,” Decker said. “What really surprised me was the nasty people in our own conservative circles. Had she lost her faculties? She was 92. Trump’s election was really her last hurrah. Sharp as a tack, she was one of those people who worked at her desk until the end.”
Decker explained his case by telling the small polite crowd that “People are just sick of everything. He represents the middle finger to Washington. People want that frustration, that change represented and they don’t get it here. Trump is getting support when he occasionally rarely might shoot himself in the foot. People underestimate how much leeway he really has.”
Like Trump, the author discounts the media: “You kind of have to have horse blinders on to get rid of the media street noise,” he said.
The Mirror questioned Decker about the book just after the party and later, when the Access Hollywood bus scandal broke and it looked like Trump’s campaign was drowning.
It wasn’t easy broaching the topic of Trump’s X-rated “locker room” banter with Billy Bush, as the whole thing made Decker completely squeamish. I questioned him as the sex scandal was unfolding.
Ok so in light of the past 24 hours what do you think?
All of the Fridays between now and the election will continue to be both fascinating and dirty because of the info dumps by both sides. Will there be an October surprise that delivers a decisive blow either way? I have a friend praying a novena for Julian Assange, so we’ll see.
Does this change things for you regarding Trump?
Four or eight more years of Obama-Clinton debt accumulation, higher taxes, social experimentation, open borders, military emasculation, terrorist appeasement, and global irresolution would be a disaster for this country. It’s time for a new policy direction on all fronts. Hillary needs sideshows to distract from the issues because she is losing on what matters most: jobs, the economy, and keeping Americans safe from terrorism.
And what do you think of the “sex talk” tape?
That leaked tape of a private conversation was from 11 years ago. What’s Bill Clinton been up to in that time? It is precious when the left — which has been promoting sexual anarchy for decades — is suddenly shocked, shocked to find that Victorian sensibilities no longer rule society.
But put aside Bill Clinton ~ what do you think of the audio outside of any other prism and just on its own?
The only reason anybody is talking about this is because Trump is running a competitive race for president and Clinton opposition-research fed the story to the media, so it’s impossible to separate this subject from that context. Hillary has a track record of threatening to “destroy,” “savage,” and “crucify” (her words, not mine) women who say they’ve been sexually assaulted or had sexual relations with Bill Clinton. That can’t be separated out from any discussion about sexual propriety in this election. People who worship Bill are ripping Trump — the hypocrisy is incredible even for politicos. The Clintons are skilled at redirecting the political narrative by accusing their opponents of sins they themselves are guilty of, whether that be lying, shady business practices, or sex. They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with so much.
So you really won’t answer the question. That’s flabbergasting. You wrote the case for trump. I think you should be able to separate and answer. The author of a book on Trump should have a response and opinion about this. No doubt you do. (Not trying to be a bitch haha.)
I’m very prudish myself so not comfortable with sex talk no matter how it’s worded or who’s saying it. That’s the fault of years of Catholic schooling as much as this cycle.
Hahaha ok fair enough.
Seriously, I was at a friend’s party where everybody was playing this game, Cards Against Humanity, and I wanted to crawl under the table.
In mid-October, I wrote Decker to ask, “Seriously, do you think Trump can still win?”
He replied, “Of course, Trump can still win. In 1980, Republican Ronald Reagan was down to Democrat Jimmy Carter by 8 points as late as Oct. 26, and the Gipper ended up winning a landslide with 44 states and 489 electoral votes. A lot can happen in two or three weeks. Right now, Trump is still ahead in the must-win state of Ohio, according to the latest CNN and Quinnipiac polls, and is close in other swing states like Florida. This is a tight race despite compromised journalists trying to declare it over prematurely, especially with the possibility of divine intervention via WikiLeaks.”
And now, let’s move on to rest of the Q and A.
Did you talk with Trump at all for this book? Did you talk with Trump’s family at all for this book? Did you talk with Trump’s campaign at all for this book?
I didn’t talk to Mr. Trump, his family, or his campaign at all for this book. That wasn’t necessarily by design. The Conservative Case for Trump was written on a mercilessly short timeline, about one chapter per day, so the reality was there wasn’t enough time to call anybody even if I wanted to do so. It was just churn and burn. Phyllis Schlafly, Ed Martin and I all have had conversations with Mr. Trump about issues before but not during the production of this book, so it wasn’t coordinated with the campaign in any way.
Have you ever worn a Trump T-shirt around town?
I’m a 1980s kid so mostly only wear Ralph Lauren, but I did have a Trump golf shirt on recently at lunch. The waiter, a black 20-something with a lot of tattoos, gave me a thumb’s up and said he hopes Trump wins. On my travels, I make a habit of asking people who they support, and find a lot of working-class African-American men support Trump – bus drivers, custodians, hotel workers, etc. A lot of these people are seeing jobs disappear, or are being replaced by cheaper illegal immigrants, so the Trump message about the system not working for them resonates.
Would you wear a Trump hat or T-shirt?
I don’t wear shirts without collars and only don Detroit Tigers hats, so the answer to this question is probably not. That said, there is a more sinister reason that many don’t sport Trump gear in public despite his large public support, and that is the threat of harassment or violence. George Soros is spending millions and millions of dollars to incite civil disturbance in this country, and a lot of that is targeted against the police and to pay vicious mobs to protest Trump campaign events. It’s terribly irresponsible. The result, however, is that there is a large hidden Trump vote that is afraid to express its support for the GOP nominee but who will show up on election day. It’s hard to quantify this hidden vote, but it’s sizable. In most election years, I’ll put a GOP bumper sticker on my car but haven’t this time because I’m worried about it getting vandalized even though it’s no mystery who I’m supporting.
Did you pull all-nighters to complete the book since you wrote it in two weeks?
Turning around a book in a fortnight is a bit of a panic, so I pulled all-nighters like a college student – eating crackers and drinking Mountain Dew at three in the morning to keep going. Anything to get the job done, but it’s not the healthiest way to complete a project. Hopefully I’ll have the luxury of a whole month or more for the next book, but, you know, never say never.
Have you lost any friends or severed any relationships whatsoever for your support of Trump and writing this book?
Nah, I take the sporting view of politics: Fight like hell on the field, but leave the fight there. I first came to D.C. twenty years ago, and decided then that friendships couldn’t be based on ideology. Some of my closest friends are liberals; I think they are crazy spendthrifts, and they think I am an eccentric curiosity from a different century. Opposites sometimes attract, but they almost always make for interesting dinner conversation.
Please elaborate about your views on the media. Don’t you agree that Trump is using the media as much as the media is using him?
I’ve spent a good part of the last two decades as a journalist, including as a foreign correspondent in Asia. We’ve seen a dangerous development in this election cycle in that what used to be called the mainstream media has abandoned all pretense to being objective or unbiased. The networks, CNN, and most newspapers are essentially overt propagandists for Hillary and Democrats. You see this in the debate moderators who counter and interrupt Republicans candidates much more often and act like an extra opponent on the stage. Many times, there is little difference between the front page and the opinion page. I believe an essential part of a free press is being a fair press, but that doesn’t exist anymore. I agree with you, though, in that Trump often plays the media like a fiddle. It’s a competitive industry, reporters are desperate for clicks or viewership, and covering Trump can deliver that, so they play along.
What do you think of the Trump surrogates…the females (and couple of guys) who are on cable news every night? Which one is your favorite among Katrina, Kayleigh and Scottie?
I actually don’t watch TV. This might sound quaint, like hovering around the radio for an FDR fireside chat, but it can be useful for analysis too. For example, in 1960 during the first-ever televised presidential debate, voters watching the Nixon-Kennedy showdown on TV thought JFK won because of optics, but those listening on the radio thought Nixon won based on substance. Sometimes the medium is the message, so I try to cut through that. Overall, Trump is in a tossup while spending one-tenth of Hillary’s war chest, so the campaign and surrogates are almost all punching way above their weight class.
If you were Trump’s advisor and could take back one thing he did or said in this election what would it be?
Clint Eastwood said he’s supporting Trump because political correctness has gotten out of control, that Americans are tired of walking on eggshells all the time. For this reason, Trump has a lot more leeway to shoot from the hip than commentators admit. Calling it how he sees it is a large part of his appeal to a yuge part of the electorate. But if I absolutely had to change something, it would be playing “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” at campaign events. I like the Rolling Stones but don’t think the messaging with that song makes sense.
What surprised you the most when conducting the research for this book?
What surprised me the most doing research for this book was actually how easy it is to make a thorough conservative case for Trump to be president. He has consistently held conservative positions on many issues going back many years. For example, Trump was talking about school choice and the need for competition in public schools decades ago, even before it was a bread-and-butter Republican campaign theme. Three years ago, I wrote an article for The Daily Caller with the headline, “Donald Trump’s Winning 2016 Platform,” and a lot of people in Washington ridiculed the piece. They are being proven wrong because the man and the message have widespread appeal, including with non-Republican constituencies – which has come as a surprise to many, though not to me.
Do you think he should release his tax records?
I think it is amazing that Hillary can squawk about somebody else’s supposed lack of transparency and get away with it. Hillary has broken the law and put national security at risk by negligently handling classified material. What needs to be released are all of her emails on her secret server so the full extent of the Clinton pay-for-play scam while Hillary was secretary of state can be assessed.
Do you think it’s weird that he said that he’d date his daughter if she wasn’t his daughter?
Unlike career politicians, Trump doesn’t have every word scripted by hired help. I think it’s clear he was just proudly commenting on how smart, talented and beautiful he thinks Ivanka is. There’s nothing more to it than that.
Who is your favorite Trump spawn (you must pick one child)?
All of the Trump children have added real strength to the campaign. I can’t remember who said it first, but it’s a valid point that you can’t fake good kids, and the Trump kids are impressive. Many NeverTrumpers have even admitted to me what effective spokesmen Eric and Don Jr. are, for example. If I have to pick a favorite, I guess it would be Ivanka. The media spotlight on her is very hot, and she has handled that with grace, but the whole brood has performed very well.
What was Trump’s reaction to your book? If he said something specific, please share.
Mr. Trump tweeted out to his 12 million Twitter followers that they should all buy the book, which I’m sure helped it debut on the New York Times bestseller list. That puts me among the millions of fans of his tweets.
Thoughts on Melania?
Mrs. Trump is an underappreciated asset of the Trump machine. Trump has said that it was his wife who talked him out of forays into the political arena in the past but who convinced him to throw his hat into the ring this time. By all accounts, she provides her husband with regular, unvarnished feedback on his performance. The Democrats make a lot of hay out of how the Clintons offer “two for the price of one,” but the Trumps are a real team in a way that doesn’t come off as merely a political agreement like with the Clintons.
What do you think of Corey Lewandowski? What do you think of Sam Nunberg?
It’s one month until the election and Donald Trump is in a neck-and-neck race to become president of the United States. Everybody involved played a role to get the campaign to this point. Most of what I know about Lewandowski and Nunberg I’ve read in the newspaper, so who knows what is true there.