New York-based journalist Ellis Henican has covered Donald Trump for many years, but his newest assignment proved to be among the most challenging: Get inside the president’s brain to expose its (il)logic, and be funny about it. Including illustrations from artist Randy Jones, Henican’s book “Trumpitude” hits shelves today and offers a unique glimpse into how the president comes to the conclusions he does.
“It’s wild in there! It’s like standing in the middle of a paint-ball war. People are shooting in all directions,” Henican described the process of trying to get inside President Trump’s mind. “There’s no way you’re getting out clean.”
Taking on issues like the Russia investigation, foreign relations and the role of the media in Trump’s sphere, “Trumpitude” examines the president’s thought processes in terms of the most recent current events and national issues.
“Issues? He doesn’t care about those. Trump’s a dumb guy’s version of a smart guy. He’s constantly saying things that don’t stand up to the slightest scrutiny. But for the true believers, his thick-headed adamance is enough,” Henican explained. “America is a tribal land today. You’ll never persuade the Trump tribe.”
Henican, who writes Metro’s weekly column on the president called Trump’s America, also elaborated on how Trump has changed over the course of his career from would-be Hollywood producer to in-fact New York real estate mogul to unlikely politician. Studied on such a timeline, Trump’s immaturity has only gotten more pronounced with age, according to the author.
“He keeps getting worse,” Henican said. “Remember when everyone was wondering, ‘When will he start acting presidential?’ Ha! Now we have to ask: ‘Is he behaving more like a fourth-grader or a third-grader?’ Mark my words, he’ll be in kindergarten by the midterms.”
Henican’s humorous take on the president is underscored throughout the book by black-and-white illustrations from Randy Jones that capture Trump at key moments in his presidency, from weighing his opinions on Russia and China to skirting questions from the press.
“Randy’s pen really is mightier than my keyboard,” according to Henican. “He can do something that will leave you laughing and appalled. Both at the same time.”
The book, which defines “Trumpitude” as “the constantly-swirling mix of swagger, self-delusion and straight-faced lies that comprise the very essence of America’s 45th president,” would find a unique place on bookshelves of the president’s supporters and detractors alike.
“It’s a great holiday gift for anyone who hates Trump, loves Trump or fall somewhere in between. Wait. When it comes to Trump, nobody is in between,” Henican said. “’Trumpitude’ is a great holiday gift for anyone who loves to laugh. These days, what else do we have?”