CHIEF OF STAFF: Mr. President. Mr. President. I hate to interrupt. Mr. President.
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Don’t bother me. I’m texting.
COS: Yes, Sir. But that’s what I want to talk to you about.
POTUS: About what?
COS: What you texted last night.
POTUS: What about last night?
COS: You texted that Michael Cohen is a ‘rat.’
POTUS: Right. ‘Rat.’ That’s what he is. A rat.
COS: Sir, there’s a problem with ‘rat.’
POTUS: A problem?
COS: With the word, yes.
POTUS: What problem? A rat is a rat. Cohen is a rat. That’s what I texted.
COS: The word ‘rat.’
POTUS: Well, what of it?
COS: It’s a slang word used by mobsters.
POTUS: So what? Everybody uses ‘rat.’ People like it when they don’t like the person I call a ‘rat.’ So I don’t want them to like Michael Cohen.
COS: I don’t know about people liking it. The point is the word itself.
POTUS: The word. What’s wrong with the word?
COS: Well, in the world of organized crime, it refers to someone who’s telling the truth.
POTUS: The truth? Michael Cohen telling the truth? Are you crazy? He’s lying, lying, lying. He wouldn’t know the truth.
COS: That’s the point.
POTUS: Point? What point?
COS: When you say he’s a rat, you say he’s telling the truth.
POTUS: A rat tells the truth? You’re crazy.
COS: Yes, a rat tells the truth. The ‘rat’ part comes because he’s ratting on someone who doesn’t want the truth to be known.
POTUS: And who is the someone who doesn’t want the truth known?
COS: In the mafia world, it’s the don, the head of the family, the godfather, call him what you will.
POTUS: And he says someone is a rat?
COS: He calls anyone who goes to the police or the FBI and spills the beans on him a rat.
POTUS: Mafia? Mobsters? Godfather? What the hell are you talking about?
COS: You used ‘rat’ in a text about Michal Cohen, so you’re saying he is telling the truth to the Prosecutor.
POTUS: A rat tells the truth? No way. No rat can tell the truth. Everybody knows that.
COS: Sir, I beg to differ.
POTUS: You know, I don’t like this conversation.
COS: I didn’t think you would.
POTUS: Then why are we having it? Don’t you know I have a lot of problems?
COS: Yes, Sir, I do.
POTUS: Then why go on about this rat word?
COS: Because it’s misleading.
POTUS: It’s not misleading. Michael Cohen is a rat. That’s it. A rat is a rat. They’re a bad animal. That’s what I said, and that’s what I mean. Most people don’t like rats. So they won’t like Michael Cohen.
COS: I’m sure they don’t like rats, Sir. But some people will say that by using the word ‘rat’ you are saying that Michael Cohen told the truth to the Prosecutor. The truth about what he did. And maybe the truth about you.
POTUS: Me? What do I have to hide?
COS: I don’t know, Sir.
POTUS: Me, I don’t have anything to hide.
COS: I’m sure you don’t, Sir.
POTUS: Most people say I don’t have anything to hide. This Mueller thing. Witch-hunt. That Southern District of New York—witch-hunt. Those damn women and their claims—witch-hunt. Everywhere you look, they’re after me. All if it. It’s a witch-hunt.
COS: Yes, Sir.
POTUS: Rat. Telling the truth? I don’t pay you to tell me nonsense.
COS: No Sir.