Stop and smell the sewage

A man is known by the company he keeps. And of the many sordid ways Mr. Trump sets himself apart, his crew of henchmen is a doozy. Several have been slouching back into the limelight of late, underscoring just what kind of ethics-’n-integrity we’d get in Trump II.

Michael Cohen deserves top billing with his juicy court appearances this week, as Mr. Trump’s former fixer shared the nitty-gritty of how to keep your boss’s alleged extramarital encounters from blowing up a presidential campaign. But then there’s Steve Bannon, who just suffered another setback in his ongoing legal drama. Rudy Giuliani lost a gig. And Paul Manafort — talk about a blast from the past! — hit a snag while trying to wriggle his way back into the political arena.

Revisiting these guys and their antics is like stumbling across a hinky septic tank. You want to get clear of the stench as swiftly as possible. But it is important to stop and smell the sewage. With Mr. Trump having been out of office for a few years, it is all too easy for people to lapse into nostalgia and forget the degree to which he surrounds himself with grifters, thugs and skeezeballs.

Michelle Cottle

May 16, 2024

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