Village Voice 04.19.2017 : Page 7

7 unsuccessfully trying to navigate to the end of a brie ing with whatever self-respect he can muster, and an-swers bizarre enough that they lib-erate the press corps from having to take them seriously. The president switches his posi-tion overnight, Spicer gives his non-explanation. Reporters can write their dispatches on the NATO meeting and Trump’s “evolution” (i.e., flip-flop) without worrying that they need to seriously account for Spicer’s comments. McCarthy then makes fun of it all on Saturday Night Live . Even the president gets what he requires, and why should he want more? A president who won with a campaign that was impervious to facts and dismissive of expert knowledge doesn’t really need a spokesman who will correct the im-age of a White House that runs on the same principles. No, he needs a spokesman who will amplify the blustering con idence of the presi-dent. Which Spicer does, at great cost to his own dignity. It almost seems like we get each other now, the press and Spicer. In a weird kind of way, it’s working just ine. April 19 April 25, 2017 VILLAGE What might have been a short, newsless week was anything but for Spicer, even if the whole Assad-Hitler thing had never happened. By the time McCarthy returned on Saturday, it was almost dif icult not to feel bad for the guy. “Y’all got your wish this week, didn’t you, huh? Spicey inally made a mistake,” McCarthy’s Spicer, “sweating my Easter eggs off ” in a giant bunny suit, tells the brie ing room. After stumbling through the rest of the thing, bathed in that characteristic flop sweat, he makes his way back to the topic of the “Holocaust centers” and that famous dictator he’d awk-wardly compared to Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. “I am sensitive to the fact that they were sent there on trains, but hey, at least they didn’t have to fly United, am I right?” Instantly he looks down, shaking his head and muttering, almost to himself, “Hunh, dang. That one jumped — that one just jumped right out of me.” Before he tries to clean up the Middle East, Trump’s son-in-law might want to clean up his own rat-infested buildings BY STEVEN WISHNIA • ILLUSTRATION BY STEVE BRODNER JARED KUSHNER TOP WHITE HOUSE ADVISER, NYC RAT LORD cause he’s “nervous that the land-lord might do something.” “I can see rats running around all over the place,” he told the Voice , re-ferring to the enclosed alley next to the building where the garbage cans are kept. “A lot of times, you can see the bags move because the rats are in there eating.” Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law, is arguably the president’s top adviser. With no previous expe-rience in government, he now holds roles stretching from Middle East diplomacy to overseeing a commission on opioid addiction, W hile Jared Kushner was visit-ing Iraq with a bulletproof vest over his blazer and failing to ind $7 billion to inance his phallic eighty-story glass tower on Fifth Avenue, tenants in two of his Lower Man-hattan buildings were dealing with a more prosaic problem. Rats. Big ones. “One of the neighbors opened the door to take out the garbage and a rat jumped on her leg,” says a rent-stabilized tenant at 156 Sullivan Street in the South Village who didn’t want to give his name be-from discussing who knows what with Russian oligarchs to promot-ing the administration’s Wall Street wing over the white-nationalist vi-sions of Stephen Bannon. The son of a politically connected New Jer-sey developer, he has bought his way to being a leading New York City residential landlord over the past ive years: He’s spent more than $400 million amassing more than ifty apartment buildings in the city, most in the East Village. Kushner claims to have divested some of his real estate holdings since joining the Trump >> p8

Previous Page  Next Page

Publication List
Using a screen reader? Click Here