The Absurdity of It All (with Noel Casler)
It's all so obvious. And so evil. And so dumb.
Noel Casler, my guest on today’s PREVAIL podcast, was the first eyewitness to allege that Donald Trump was a habitual drug user. On May 1, 2020, in a written interview that remains the most-read piece in the two-plus-year history of PREVAIL, Noel told me that the then-President
snorts Adderall as his maintenance high. When he gets too wired, this is tempered with benzodiazepines. There’s also a robust use of cocaine and methamphetamine in the Trump orbit, and I’ll leave it at that. . . . NYC is also full of folks with anecdotes of Trump’s drug use. They come up to me and share stories all the time. Look into the Dr. Bornstein stuff if you want to know more, and ask yourself why Trump sent [his bodyguard] Keith Schiller to strong-arm the doctor and steal his medical records, shortly after being elected POTUS.
In today’s podcast interview, the former talent handler on Trump’s reality show reasserts that the DFG
would abuse Adderall when I worked with him on “Celebrity Apprentice.” It was more or less common knowledge. I mean, he wasn’t cutting the lines on the fake boardroom desk. But if you were privy to the talent department behind the scenes, you knew what he was doing. And we would send in Hair & Makeup when chunks flew out of his nose. And that happened as President. You could go on CNN right now, find clips of stuff flying out of his nose. And the press completely ignored it.
And it wasn’t like Trump was some staid, stately, Mike Pence-like figure as this was all happening. He looked like he was on something. There were the white chunks shooting from his nostrils, as Noel cites. There were dilated pupils. And there was sometimes the opposite—a lethargic affect, the slurring of words, the sluggish bearing of a tranquilized elephant: comfortable numbness.
Combine the can’t-miss-it visual evidence of drug abuse with the seizure of his medical records, add in the bizarre medical reports released to the public, and recall the presence of Ronny Jackson as the White House physician, and there’s an awful lot of smoke where Noel says the fire is.
And yet for four years, the press said fuck-all about it.
A few years ago, I was a guest on a radio show, and I brought up Trump’s drug use allegation, citing Noel on the live broadcast. The other guest on the show, a regular on the cable news shows (and someone I really like), recoiled from this—took great pains to avoid the subject. Had the cable news networks instructed their commentators not to mention Trump’s drug use? That was my impression.
It is absurd that this happened for four years, in front of our own eyes, with zero coverage. It is absurd that Trump’s medical records were seized by his muscle. It is absurd that he never told us why he was rushed to Walter Reed in November of 2019—or why he forced doctors there to sign NDAs. (Noel’s theory, revealed on today’s show, cannot be discounted.) It is absurd that Trump lied to the American people about how dire his condition was when he had the coronavirus. It is absurd that after he and his pal Chris Christie both almost died of covid, he continued to lie about it, when he knew doing so would directly lead to more dead Americans.
It’s all absurd.
It is absurd that this mob money launderer and serial rapist became president. It is absurd that the Republican Party went all-in with him. It is absurd that his surrogates got help from Russia—can we all agree now that Putin is bad?—to win the election and then lied about it. It is absurd that his son and son-in-law were not charged by Mueller. It is absurd that he fluffed Putin at Helsinki, met with him alone, and seized the translator’s notes afterward. It is absurd that he ate documents. It is absurd that he flushed documents down the White House toilet. It is absurd that he made off with a van full of classified and top secret documents, as if they were his property, and did not belong to the American people for whom he was supposed to be working.
It is absurd that he authorized the sabotage of the coronavirus response that resulted in a million dead Americans. It is absurd that he politicized masks and vaccines. It is absurd that he led a violent coup on January 6. It is absurd that the Senate Republicans acquitted him—twice. It is absurd that the RNC pays his legal bills. It is absurd that people still donate to his campaign. It is absurd that so-called Christians think he was sent here by God. It is absurd that compromised Republicans like Kevin McCarthy and Ted Cruz travel to Mar-a-Lago to kiss the ring. It is absurd that Trump went on Fox News the night Russia invaded Ukraine, spread egregious lies, praised Putin, and insulted President Biden.
The absurdity of it all is overwhelming.
One day, I hope, we can look back on it and laugh. But today, as Trump’s favorite dictator kills innocent Ukrainians and upends world peace, as the GOP drifts closer to full fascist, as three thousand Americans a day die of covid, nothing seems funny.
In the 50th episode of the PREVAIL podcast, Greg Olear talks to stand-up comic and Twitter legend Noel Casler about the absurdity of it all. Plus: a new national anthem for a new nation.
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Photo credit: Benjamin Vincent Kasapoglu.