Put simply: Triggs’s narrative tells you everything you need to know about The Donald.
Start with the photo at the top of the article (the same one in the tweet above), in which Triggs poses alongside a grinning Trump, who sports his signature “Make America Great Again” hat and flashes a thumbs-up. We’re looking at a Mona Lisa smile that belongs in the Louvre here. Just like the subject of Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, Triggs appears to be smiling — until you look closer.
What is that micro-expression on her face? Revulsion? Contempt? She certainly doesn’t seem thrilled to be sidling up to the billionaire candidate.
Nevertheless, there she is, and that’s good enough for the visibly enthused Trump. He possesses a remarkable ability — on full display in this image — to see only what he wants to see. Triggs is “so beautiful” (he told her so), and she’s game for a photo? Great! Who cares what she really thinks?
(In Triggs’s main article, she and co-author Sandra Sobieraj Westfall describe a scene in which Trump gestures proudly toward a stack of Time magazines. “Isn’t that an amazing picture?” he asks, referring to the cover shot of his own face. He seems to ignore the fact that the words “bully,” “showman,” “party crasher” and “demagogue” are scrawled across his mug. Who cares what Time really thinks? He’s on the cover with an amazing picture!)
There are many other lessons in Triggs’s diary of her visit with the real estate magnate. To wit:
“I really don’t give interviews anymore. But I respect People, and I respect you,” he says. (Just shy of 48 hours later, I see him phoning in an interview to ABC News — among others.)
Trump changes the subject whenever he wants.
I ask him about being compared to Adolf Hitler. “Well, that’s ridiculous,” he says and then takes off on how Hillary Clinton doesn’t want to face him in the general election.
Trump is impulsive.
He’s wrapping up to take his private jet to Arizona for two next-day rallies and, on a whim, he invites me to tag along. Campaign aides quickly quash that, citing Secret Service protocol on background checks.
Trump makes wild, unproven accusations.
I ask about the demonstrators describing him as “fascist.” He dismisses them as professional agitators hired by Democratic rivals Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
Trump has vulgar supporters.
And as I’m recording the comments of a Trump supporter on my iPhone, a young guy walks menacingly up to the group he apparently assumes to be illegal immigrants, standing beside me, chatting amongst themselves. “You guys can’t even vote, so it’s hilarious that you’re here,” the guy says. And then he spits at them.
So many words have been written about Donald Trump in this campaign. You’ve been wasting your time reading them.
You could have just waited for this week’s issue of People magazine.