Shinbone’s ‘Virtual Town Hall’ better than watching Trump on NBC tonight

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a transcript of our “virtual” town hall with Impeached President Donald J. Trump. Full disclosure: Only statements attributed to Trump are real (pulled from mainstream media news reports). The questions posed to the current occupant of the White House are ones we provided to fictitious audience members. We are confident this give-and-take with Trump will be more informative and entertaining than anything NBC airs tonight during its scheduled love fest with Trump.

Live from The Shinbone Star break room
(sorry, we’re a real newspaper and don’t have a ‘studio’)

Good morning. I’m MACinelli a writer for The Shinbone Star. Welcome to our virtual Town Hall with Impeached President Donald J. Trump. We are confident that after reading this transcript of our conversation with the man who’d like to be crowned king of our country, you won’t feel the need to tune into NBC tonight to see what lies and divisive attacks Trump unleashes against Joe Biden and Democrats.

An important note: After avoiding any mind-numbing negotiations with the Trump campaign and The Donald, we reached an agreement with ourselves that no topic was off limits and only Trump’s on-the-record responses to questions raised by American citizens would be included in this transcript. For the record, all participants agreed to wear protective face masks and practice social distancing.

Now that the ground rules are out of the way, please welcome to the empty chair sitting across from me the current Oval Office occupant, Donald J. Trump.

MACinelli (MAC): Welcome Impeached President Trump. Thanks for not agreeing to attend our virtual town hall.

Donald J. Trump (DJT in absentia): What did you say? I can’t hear you through that mask you’re wearing. Do you have to sit so far away? Where are all the people? I don’t see any people. Is this your idea of social distancing; not having anybody show up to cheer me on?

MAC: That’s not important. Over my shoulder is a nonexistent video screen showcasing fictitious Americans from across the country who are prepared to ask you questions. Since you have previously said you wouldn’t agree to a “virtual” town hall, we decided to hold this q-and-a session whether you liked it or not. We believe the American people deserve truthful answers to substantive questions.

DJT: This is a set-up. How do I know there are any of my supporters out there who will ask real questions? This is fake news!

MAC: Well, we anticipated this reaction from you, so the first question will come from Bobby Lee ‘Bubba’ White of Red River, Pennsylvania. He’s the one in military fatigues, holding what looks like an AK-47. Go ahead Bobby Lee. What’s your question for Mr. Trump?

Bobby Lee White (BLW): Hey President Trump. Somebody from my Proud Boys troop told me you want us to stand by all armed up in case you don’t win the election. Is that true? Do you want us to stand by here or come to Washington?

DJT: The Proud Boys. Stand back and stand by. But I’ll tell you what, I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left, because this is not a right-wing problem.

MAC: Um, you didn’t answer Bobby Lee’s question. Where do you want them to stand by?

DJT: Well, Bobby Lee, that’s a great name. You were probably named after Robert E. Lee, that great general of the Confederate army during the Civil War. Remember him? He really outsmarted all those Union generals. Made Lincoln mad as hell.

MAC: Mr. Trump, Lee surrendered to General Grant, and the South lost the war. But more to the point of Bobby Lee’s question, where do you want him and his ‘Proud Boys’ vigilante group to “stand by?”

DJT: Go the voting places. Be poll watchers. The Democrats, as you probably know, Bobby Lee, are trying to steal the election from me. All sorts of fraud happening. Go to the polls!

MAC: OK, next up is Regina Smith who lives in Philadelphia and is on the front lines of fighting to save lives from the deadly COVID-19 that has ravaged our country during the past eight months.

DJT: Fake news! We’ve turned the corner on that China virus. Look, I had it and now I’m back better than ever. It was nothing. Let’s talk about how important it is to get another one of my favorite judges on the Supreme Court so . . .

MAC: COVID-19 has killed more than 218,000 Americans during the past eight months. New case counts and deaths are once again climbing across the country. What corner has been turned? Do you really believe putting another conservative justice on the Supreme Court is more important than saving American lives? More important than effectively battling this pandemic?

DJT: What Pandemic? Seriously I have a moral obligation to fill that Supreme Court vacancy. That’s what the American people elected me to do, and I’m going to do it before Election Day. Amy Coney Barrett will make a great justice. Better, probably, than that liberal justice who left the court.

MAC: You mean the pioneering Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who died last month?

DJT: Yeah, that’s her. What did she do? Wrote a lot of minority opinions. She lost a lot of cases. You know what I think about losers, right?

MAC: Your ignorance of and lack of compassion for Ms. Ginsburg’s lifetime accomplishments — not just as a justice on the Supreme Court — are criminal. But let’s let Regina ask her question. Regina?

Regina Smith (RS): Mr. Trump. Since March I have watched hundreds of people struggle with and die from the novel coronavirus. A large number of them people of color, like me. For many months we at the hospital were without masks or gowns to protect us from the virus brought in to our facility by patients stricken with the disease. You told us back in March that the disease would just go away, it would simply disappear. It would be “like a miracle.” You said wearing masks was not necessary, and you refused to not only wear one but didn’t develop and implement a national strategy for containing COVID-19. You said it wasn’t your responsibility. If you’re re-elected what will you do to not only to reduce the number of people dying from the virus but also to make certain health care workers are equipped to deal with future deadly pandemics?

DJT: It’s simple. I have a detailed plan for eradicating — and that’s what we’re doing even as we speak — eradicating, such a beautiful word eradicating, COVID-19. We’re going to have a vaccine in place for all Americans by the end of the year. You know that “Warp Speed” vaccine program I developed and implemented is producing results faster and better than ever in the history of our country, of the world. Then we’re going to return the country to “normal” in 2021. And by normal I mean all states reopening all businesses, schools, whatever. Reopen and you’ll see an economic recovery that will knock your socks off. It will be the greatest economic recovery by any nation in the history of the world. We’ll make all the critical supplies for health care workers in America. Made in America, that’s what we’ll do. And finally, we’ll replenish stockpiles and prepare for future pandemics.

RS: But the drug manufacturers and even the CDC and FDA are saying a vaccine for all of us won’t be ready for use until late spring, maybe even not until next summer. Plus, you didn’t provide supplies for us when COVID-19 broke out, you pressured businesses and schools to re-open before the virus was under control so now we’re experiencing a second wave that is crippling our health care system. You won’t negotiate with Congress on a relief package for workers, families, state governments. How can we believe you will do anything different if you’re re-elected.

DJT: Trust me, I will. Look, COVID-19 is what it is. You all just have to learn to live with it. All I have to do is chopper over to Walter Reed, get some expensive, experimental drugs and I can dance out of here with “Macho Man” playing in my head. Now if you’ll excuse me I have a few more important places to be than here answering fake questions and being verbally assaulted by a fake news outlet. Need to go see how Lindsay is doing ramming through Miss Amy’s nomination. See ya’!

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