For the last six weeks, all of the comings and goings at Trump Tower have been dutifully reported and dissected by the press, whose job it is to report and dissect the president-elect’s various comings and goings. Will disgraced ex-North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory nab a key post? Will Kanye West run in 2020 or 2024? What is Jim Brown doing?
But, while Trump doesn’t have enough time to take daily security briefings, he does seem to have time to meet with any old Joe—provided they either already know him or are famous—that wanders into Trump Tower. According to a report from Politico, some of the “meetings” Trump has had are little more than practical jokes. Here’s the best anecdote from the piece, which comes from ex-Dallas Cowboys coach Barry Switzer:
Media widely reported Trump met with Barry Switzer, the former University of Oklahoma and Dallas Cowboys coach who has known Trump for decades. But Switzer said he was shopping with his wife and daughter on Fifth Avenue and decided to walk into the Trump Tower lobby after seeing the Naked Cowboy. He had no meeting scheduled.
“All the media people said, ‘Coach what are you doing here,’” Switzer said in an interview. “I told them I was here to see the president like everyone else.” Switzer said he instead went upstairs in Trump Tower, bought a coffee at Starbucks and came back downstairs.
“I told the reporters I had a great visit, and that we were going to make the wishbone great again,” he said. “I told them I was going to be Secretary of Offense and that Trump knew how to run the ball down the field.”
“Then I went back to my hotel and laughed my ass off,” he said, still laughing this week. “It went everywhere. Everyone believed it. I had all these calls, but I was just jerking people around.”
There are a couple of lessons here. The first is to be skeptical of any preliminary report coming out of Trump Tower about Trump’s schedule and who he’s meeting—Switzer proved that it’s very easy to pull the press’s strings, so long as you’re famous and/or have an existing relationship with Trump. The second is that this gives yet another window into Trump’s lack of seriousness—something that could, perhaps, explain his head-scratching calls with Pakistan and Taiwan. Trump will seemingly talk to anyone who wanders in or calls, without really thinking about it. It’s funny when Switzer does it, but it’s a habit that can have very serious repercussions.