Everybody wants to know what was said in that Trump Tower meeting with the Russians in June 2016. Well, other than the people in the room, I, Steven Yablonsky, alone know exactly what was said because I worked as a janitor in the building and was hiding in the closet recording all of it on my phone. As it happens, I was fired yesterday for not putting up the “wet floor” sign in the lobby, and a few people took a tumble, including Tiffany, so now I can finally reveal all.
Here is the transcription:
Through a crack in the closet door, four Russians enter. They are Natalia Veselnitskaya, Rinat Akhmetshin, Irakly Kaveladze and Anatoli Samochornov. Already present are Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner and Rob Goldstone. They all say hello and introductions are made.
Rinat: Where shall we sit?
Don Jr.: Anywhere you’d like.
Rinat: You want big chair?
Don Jr.: You can have the big chair.
Rinat: Ah, I feel a little funny.
Natalia: Take big chair. Don Jr. say O.K.
Rinat: (sits) I like this. It sinks in. Might fall asleep.
Irakly: (pointing) Look at nice spread.
Jared: Help yourself to anything on the table.
Irakly: Is that tuna fish or chicken salad? Very hard to tell difference.
Rob: And they taste the same. That I don’t get.
(They all mutter in agreement. Why is that? One’s chicken, one’s fish.)
Manafort: O.K., shall we begin?
Natalia: We have very good dirt, as you say, on Clinton. You win election with this.
Manafort: Hold it, hold it. Wait a second. First off, that would be illegal. That would be conspiring with an enemy to commit election fraud.
Rinat: I thought that was what meeting about.
Natalia: Me too.
Don Jr.: What? Who told you that?
Rinat: What did you think it was about?
Don Jr.: I thought it was about adoption!
Manafort: Yes, adoption. We want you to rescind the ban. It’s taking a tremendous toll.
The Russians: (in unison) Ohh … well, this is big misunderstanding …
Jared: I’ll say.
Don Jr.: Can I have a word with my colleagues?
(The four Americans huddle up right in front of the closet door.)
Don Jr.: I think we should call the F.B.I.
Goldstone: Right now?
Don Jr.: Right now!
Jared: No, that’s crazy.
Don Jr.: We’re breaking the law, Jared!
Jared: No, we’re not. … What’s that word that starts with a “c”?
Don Jr.: Conspiracy?
Jared: No … collusion! That’s legal! Is that a beauty? We’re not calling the F.B.I.!
Don Jr.: O.K., but my dad still might get in a lot of trouble for this.
Goldstone: I’m getting an Arnold Palmer.
Don Jr.: I don’t think there’s any lemonade.
(They return to their seats.)
Manafort: Sorry about the misunderstanding, but you see, there are thousands of families in America who are suffering because they’re unable to have children of their own. One of my dearest friends has no children. It’s been heartbreaking to watch them trying to adopt and come up empty.
Don Jr.: Do you have kids, Anatoli?
Anatoli: Yes, two beautiful daughters. The government take them for gymnastics.
Don Jr.: So you know how empty life is without them. I know relations between our great countries have been frayed. But that shouldn’t be what this is about. This should be about hardworking families who want to experience the joys of parenthood. Can’t you put yourself in their shoes? Can’t you … (begins to break down)
Manafort: Does anyone have a tissue?
Anatoli: Natalia, you have tissue in purse?
Natalia: Here, yes, of course. Don’t cry, Don Jr. Don’t cry.
Don Jr.: (bawling) Thank you. … I wanted to adopt a child from Cambodia, but Vanessa said no. It broke us up. … I’m sorry.
Natalia: I see how much this means to you. I will call President Putin to discuss. I am on your side.
Rinat: Me too.
Don Jr.: Thank you. This means the world to me. And you know who will be really happy about this? Dad. In fact, this whole meeting was his idea.
Rinat: And you’re sure you don’t want our information on Clinton? Election in bag.
Manafort: Oh, God, no. Please don’t bring that up again. You see, Rinat, this is America. We’re a democracy. Our elections are sacred. And when it comes right down to it, I’d rather lose than win by cheating.
Natalia: Understood. Our apologies. We will be in touch.
(They say their goodbyes and head out. As the door closes …)
Don Jr: I still think we should call the F.B.I.
Larry David is the creator of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
Adapted from the New York Times/10/08/2018