The Thinker: Rich Galen


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The definition of the word mull.
Mullings by Rich Galen
An American Cyber-Column By Rich Galen
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The ServPro President

Rich Galen

Thursday July 19, 2018

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  • There is a commercial cleaning/restoration service called "ServPro." Their tagline is: "Like it never even happened."

  • There has never been a White House in greater need of an organization that can help them make the rest of us believe Helsinki "never even happened."

  • Every White House gets itself wrapped around the axle on something the President or a member of his Administration has said or done.

  • Sometimes, like Richard Nixon (Watergate) or Bill Clinton (Monica Lewinsky) , they have actually gone to the Presidential metal shop and constructed the axle around which they find themselves wrapped.

  • Often it is something an aide or member of a Cabinet Department has said or done. The Golden General, David Petraeus, resigned as Director of the CIA under Barack Obama when it came to light that not only was he having an extra-marital affair, but he had given his girlfriend highly-classified material to read.

  • I have been in meetings - not with Presidents, but with high-level political leaders - in response to some axle-wrapping of their own.

  • In fact, I have often said I was a pretty good press secretary because I had been a pretty good reporter as a young news director at WMOA - 1490 on your AM dial in Marietta, Ohio 45750.

  • The point being: I could smell where the story was coming from and what it involved.

  • A press secretary on Capitol Hill or in the White House cannot believe he or she can turn the story completely around. The best you can hope for is to move it 10 or 15 degrees and give your boss some breathing room.

  • This requires intense meetings, suggestions, getting buy-in from the boss for a roll-out plan from the staff.

  • Not the Trump White House.

  • Trump simply turns on what people who worked for Apple's Steve Jobs called his "reality distortion zone."

  • This past Tuesday, Trump attempted a ServPro-level clean up by suggesting when he said - standing next to him - that Vladimir Putin had denied any attempts to interfere with the 2016 election:
    "He just said it's not Russia. I will say this. I don't see any reason why it would be."

  • We know that reading is not one of Trump's major skill sets. Watch how his shoulders twitch when he tries to read aloud.

  • On Tuesday, the ServPro folks gave him a statement to read that simply said that Trump had mis-spoken the day before. He had meant to say "I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be."

  • Trump said:
    "The sentence should have been: 'I don't see any reason why I wouldn't, or why it wouldn't be Russia,' sort of a double negative. So you can put that in, and I think that probably clarifies things pretty good by itself."

  • Actually, Trump stumbled over the would/wouldn't thing about three times before he got it right, even though - or maybe because - it had been written out for him.


    That "double negative" ad lib generated a ton of amusing examples of Presidential double negatives. The best was by Matt Viser, Deputy Washington Bureau Chief for the Boston Globe who Tweeted:
    "Mr. Gorbachev don't not tear down this wall."


  • Not only did Trump's non-clarifying clarification not clean up the mess, but he spilled more stuff on the carpet when he said
    "I have felt very strongly that, while Russia's actions had no impact at all on the outcome of the election, let me be totally clear in saying that -- and I've said this many times -- I accept our intelligence community's conclusion that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place."

  • So far, so good. But then Trump couldn't help saying:
    "Could be other people also; there's a lot of people out there."

  • They could hear White House Chief of Staff John Kelly sighing in exasperation all the way to Moscow.

  • I don't have a clue why Trump has become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vladimir Putin. My suspicion is: They spent a good deal of that one-on-one meeting negotiating the location of the Trump-Moscow Hotel on Red Square but I might be wrong about that.

  • Here's what I do know: There's a lot more sweeping, scrubbing, and scouring to be done before the Trump White House can be satisfied that Helsinki "never even happened.'

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring today: A link to ServPro and the full transcript of Trump tripping over the Would/Wouldn't explanation.

    The Mullfoto is of the Departure board at Reagan National Airport earlier this week.

--END --

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Recent Issues of Mullings          Secret Decoder Ring for this Issue

July 2018

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