August 11, 2016

David Cay Johnston on Trump’s “Second Amendment people” remark: “This will happen again.”


We’ve been keeping an eye on Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston since the release of his book, The Making of Donald Trump, last week. It’s a job that hasn’t grown any easier—or less informative—as he’s been in ever-higher demand, making the rounds of news and opinion shows to share what he’s learned in nearly thirty years as America’s foremost authority on the puzzling figure known as Donald J. Trump.

Johnston spoke in detail yesterday with Wisconsin Public Radio, describing the limits of Trump’s commitment to universal healthcare, his relationship with the notorious Roy Cohn, his, shall we say, unusual attitude toward paying his workers, and much, much more. Listen here to the first half:



And here to the second:


Johnston also appeared on Northeast Public Radio yesterday, bringing wagonloads of facts and sharp analysis, and addressing questions including why his book is not about Hillary Clinton, how Trump’s refusal to disclose his tax returns looks to a tax expert, and what exactly’s going on with “everything Donald wants to make sure you do not know.” Listen here.

Johnston also spoke with Kimberly Winston of the Religion News Service to address questions of what Donald believes and how he has “beguiled pastors with flattery” and “deceived many of his supporters with a false message.” He tells this story:

In an interview with Donald, I asked questions that he tried to bull his way out of and I did something investigative reporters sometimes do — I deliberately said something that was false. Donald, like a television psychic, immediately incorporated my false statement into his answer and that told me this guy is essentially at heart a con artist who tells you what you want to hear.

It’s an important discussion that people of faith—and anyone hoping to understand how Trump targets faith communities—should see. Read the whole interview here.

Johnston rounded out his Wednesday with an appearance on Democracy Now!, where he Trumped it up with hosts Amy Goodman and Juan González on a number of subjects, beginning with Trump’s instantly-infamous quip about “Second Amendment people” earlier this week:

Well, I’ve been listening to right-wing radio about this, and all sorts of people are saying, “There goes the liberal media again. He never said that.” He certainly said it to people who are zealots, people who are deranged, people who are dangerous. And without question, this was way beyond the pale. But, you know, this will happen again. This is who Donald Trump is. He is a bully. He is someone who believes that whatever he thinks is in his interest in the moment is in the national interest.

The conversation continues on to Trump’s considerable Mafia connections, the Trump family banner that Donald is carrying into a new century, and Johnston getting a fateful call from Trump Tower after publishing a recent exposé in Politico. You should probably watch the segment in its entirety (transcript here):

All persons with a stake in this election (so, everyone) are encouraged to remain informed about the ongoing bewilderment that is Trump’s presidential campaign. David Cay Johnston shows no sign of slowing down soon. Watch this space — we’ll keep you posted.