A new way of talking about the news? A letter to our president:

Dear Mr. Trump,

Maybe you are unaware, but your constant reiteration of the phrase “fake news” to describe everything published about you that you don’t like is starting wear a bit thin. It’s like you’ve put on the same shirt, day after day, so that the material has frayed and come apart and lets everyone see the ugly mess behind it. The American public, in short, is getting tired – so tired – of that constant refrain. The number of people who still think those words are meaningful is dwindling rapidly. Every time you say the same thing, more people are sick of hearing it.

So, sir, my suggestion to you is that you find new words. Perhaps you can characterize the stories you dislike as “Sad, but true …” or “Unfortunately, right on the mark” or “Ah, you caught me this time with my pants down …” or “I didn’t realize that my criminal, treasonous conduct was against the law.” That way, many more people will believe you. Plus, you will capture the element of surprise, even shock, and think of how that will affect your ratings!

Very truly yours,

Bruce J. Berger

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A new letter to Mr. Trump about might have happened …

Dear Mr. Trump,

I can see now how this all played out last year, when you became the presumptive Republican nominee. Let me know if I’m wrong.

Jr.        Dad, the most remarkable thing has happened. The Russkies are offering to help us smear Hillary!

DT       What? How do you know?

Jr.        Here’s the email I got. They’ll even come to the Trump Tower in New York!

DT       Make sure you bring Jared and Manafort. This is a campaign thing. They have to be involved.

Jr.        Of course.

DT       Now, what’s your story? What’s the cover?

Jr.        Well, first, as you’ve taught me over the years, I will deny that any such meeting ever took place. If I have to fill out any forms when you’re elected – as you will be with all this mud on Hillary we’re going to get – I will forget such a meeting took place.

DT       Good. Deny, deny, deny. Fake news. But, what if someone finds out? You need a story.

Jr.        I got that figured, too. The Russkie contact is interested in adoptions. We’ll say that’s what we talked about.

DT       Haha! Adoptions, like when those soft fuzzy libtards try to help someone else have a decent life! Haha! Good, good!

Jr.        And also we’ll say that we didn’t learn anything.

DT       So, how exactly is this going to help us win again?

Jr.        We promise to lift sanctions, the Russkies find the dirt and get it released. And they’ll feed us inside stuff.

DT       I love it! Beautiful!

Jr.        When Putin heard you beg him to hack Hillary’s emails, he couldn’t resist.

DT       I knew he’d get the message. Boy, I love Putin! He knows how to eliminate his competition. He’s tough. I’m gonna be just like him when I’m President!

Jr.        Sure you will, Dad! I’m proud of you.

DT       All right. Go ahead. Remember, we never talked about this. If it comes out some day, it’s … it’s … a big nothing burger. Can you remember that?

Jr.        A big nothing burger. Got it.

DT       And keep me informed every step of the way.

Jr.        Like we’ve always operated.

So, Mr. Trump, I’m pretty sure I got the essence of that conversation correct. Unless you tell me I’m wrong, my friends and I are entitled to deem this a proven fact.

Thank you, sir, for your valuable time.

Very truly yours,

Bruce J. Berger

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He’s learning …?

Dear Mr. Trump,

I see that your staff “forgot” to book you a room for the G-20 summit. What a shame! How could the people you hire be so callous? Although I realize that the summit is in Hamburg, not Vienna, do you think this could be a Freudian slip?

Or, do you think Hillary was behind it all? You know, those emails?

Seriously, though, you’re doing a bit better. I saw that you reluctantly shook Angela Merkel’s hand when she offered it, and you managed to get off-camera before taking the Purell bottle from one of your aides. You’re learning diplomacy!

Best of luck, sir, on the rest of your trip.

Very truly yours,

Bruce J. Berger

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A letter to Mr. Trump about hopelessness …

Dear Mr. Trump,

You don’t really need me to pile on criticism about your latest misogynist tweets. You’ve heard it sufficiently from everyone by now: boorish, childish, depraved, unbecoming a president. It wouldn’t serve a useful purpose to prove that such sick, narcissistic, disgusting behavior as you repeatedly exhibit is not in the best interests of our country. You are hopeless, a disgrace to the United States, and proof that our democracy is gravely at risk.

As always, in my letters to you, I try to offer you sound advice, even though I know you will ignore it. I will try again, however.

Ignore the media. Stop calling everything you don’t like “fake news.” Do your job, and if you do a good job then trust that the facts will get out. Don’t obsess about the Russian investigation. The truth will emerge, and, if as you claim you are innocent, that fact will get out too. Stop obsessing about the appearance of women. Keep your mouth – and Twitter feed – shut.

Like I said … hopeless.

Very truly yours,

Bruce J. Berger

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Letter to the White House: Let Him Speak Again!

Dear Occupant:

You live there in the White House, so you’re the occupant, for now. As such, the American people have a right to know what’s going on behind your closed doors, and your press secretary should not hide from the press.

I understand how difficult it may be for him to answer questions. You don’t want him to tell the truth about anything, and he always looks stupid trying to get your talking points across. Yet, even so, our media representatives should have the right to question him. If he lies, the press can point out the lies.

We would like to hear him explain why you think it’s a good thing that 23 million Americans lose their health insurance.

We would like to hear him explain how you’re now under investigation, which you apparently means that you feel you’re guilty of something.

We would like to hear him explain how you have failed to appoint sufficient senior staff to run the government, mainly because no one with an ounce of integrity would work for you.

Put Sean Spicer back out there in the press room, sir occupant of the White House.

Very truly yours,

Bruce J. Berger

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My predictions for Tuesday’s testimony by Attorney General Jeff Sessions …

Q:           Mr. Sessions, do you recall a meeting in the Oval Office on February 14, 2017?

A:            Yes.

Q:           With you at that time were the President, Mr. Comey, the Vice President, and Jared Kushner, correct?

A:            Yes.

Q:           When the meeting ended, Mr. Trump asked Mr. Comey to stay while the others, including you, left the room, correct?

A:            That is correct. He’s the President of the United States. He’s allowed to have anyone with him that he chooses, whenever he chooses. He won a landslide election in the Electoral College.

Q:          When Mr. Trump asked that the room be cleared, other than for Mr. Comey, you lingered nonetheless, correct?

A:            Yes.

Q:           Because you knew it would be wrong to leave Mr. Comey alone with Mr. Trump, given that Mr. Comey worked under you.

A:            No, that would not be wrong. The President of the United States can talk to anyone he wants to, with or without others present.

Q:           Still, even after his instructions for the rest of you to clear out, you lingered, didn’t you?

A:            Well, I guess so.

Q:           Then he ordered you out of the room, right?

A:            (No response)

Q:           Mr. Sessions, he told you to leave, right?

A:            In a way. He said “I hoped I could have a private conversation with Mr. Comey,” looking at me, so I left.

Q:           And, as Mr. Comey said, you stood outside the door of the Oval Office, there with the Vice President and Mr. Kushner, correct?

A:            Correct.

Q:           From where you could not hear what the President said to Mr. Comey or how Mr. Comey responded, correct?

A:            Well …

Q:           Could you hear their conversation?

A:            No, not really?

Q:           Could you hear it at all?

A:            No.

Q:           At one point during that conversation, Mr. Kushner opened the door for a second, stuck his head in, and came out, as Mr. Comey has testified, correct?

A:            Maybe?

Q:           You didn’t notice him do that?

A:            I was talking to the Vice President.

Q:           What did you say to the Vice President and what did he say to you?

A:            He asked me “What’s going on?” And I said “damned if I know.”

Q:           You were both troubled by the president’s behavior, weren’t you?

A:            He has a right to do whatever he wants.

Q:           Does the president have the right to break the law?

A:            (No response.)

Q:           You’re the top law enforcement official in the United States. Does a president have the right to break the law?

A:            It’s not breaking a law to express a hope than an investigation comes to a swift conclusion.

Q:           Do the obstruction of justice laws apply to all Americans equally?

A:            What do you mean by “equally”?

Q:           Do the obstruction of justice laws apply to the president?

A:            I suppose so, but remember Clinton’s emails.

Q:           What?

A:            Oh, never mind.

Q:           After Mr. Comey’s private meeting with Mr. Trump, did Mr. Comey later ask you never to put him in the position again where he was left alone with Mr. Trump?

A:            He did.

Q:           Did you respond?

A:            No, because Mr. Trump is president, and he can have any kind of meeting he wants. Mr. Comey could have resigned immediately as FBI Director if he felt that President Trump had done something wrong.

Q:           In your view, should a foreign government be allowed to interfere in a United States election?

A:            There is no current investigation of Mr. Trump, which Mr. Comey repeated three times.

Q:           Should a foreign government be allowed to interfere in a United States election? Yes or no?

A:            I just answered that. You ask the same question and you’ll get the same answer. Mr. Comey has fully exonerated Mr. Trump. Three times. Anything else is fake news.

Q:           Was it “fake news” that Mr. Trump had a private meeting with your subordinate in the Oval Office, a meeting from which you were expressly excluded?

A:            And anyway, I had recused myself from the Russia thing. So if I was recused, why would I be in that meeting?

Q:           So you knew that Mr. Trump was going to address “the Russia thing,” didn’t you?

A:            I didn’t say that.

Q:           Mr. Trump was very angry with you when you recused yourself, correct?

A:            I refuse to testify about private conversations that I had with Mr. Trump, who has been fully exonerated already. Three times.

Q:           You considered resigning, given Mr. Trump’s anger, correct?

A:            I have full confidence in our president, who won in a landslide election. And did you see those massive crowds on Inauguration Day? Largest in the history of the world. Of the universe.

Q:           I have many more questions, but I’m out of time.

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Time to tell the truth …

Dear Mr. Trump,

Well, it seems you and your colleagues have lied. That doesn’t surprise me. I anticipate you will continue to lie, but I advise you to change your tack.

Here’s what you should do:

  • Call a press conference and admit that you spoke the words that Director Comey has alleged you said. Honor him as an honest and trustworthy public servant.
  • Admit to the American people that you were wrong to attempt to derail FBI’s investigation of Flynn.
  • Admit to the American people that you were wrong to attempt to end FBI’s investigation of Russian interference in our election.
  • Promise to the American people that you will never again try to influence an FBI investigation.

If you take my advice, sir, I’m sure it will play well with the American public.

Very truly yours,

Bruce J. Berger

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