Jeanette Strong: ‘It’s just not my thing’

“I was at Mar-a-Lago and ... a man, about 80 years old ... fell off the stage ... laying on the floor unconscious … The next day, I forgot to call (the man) to say is he OK. It’s just not my thing.” Donald Trump, July 16, 2008.

In my Sept. 7 column, I explained that former President Donald Trump is running for re-election hoping for a pardon if he’s convicted of any of the crimes he’s charged with. Following are brief descriptions of the seven current indictments, civil and criminal, against him, from the Sept. 3 Reno Gazette Journal.

New York business fraud case: New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit alleging Trump “falsely inflated his wealth by billions of dollars” through massive fraud in the Trump Organization. In an April 13 deposition, Trump passed the blame. “My son Eric is much more involved with it than I am.”

Manhattan defamation case: Writer E. Jean Carroll filed a defamation lawsuit against Trump in 2019; Trump was found liable by a federal judge. In May, a federal jury found Trump liable for sexually abusing Carroll in 1996.

Manhattan pyramid scheme case: Four plaintiffs filed a civil class-action case in Manhattan against Trump and the Trump Organization, accusing them of defrauding working-class Americans by promoting and endorsing a multilevel marketing company called American Communications Network.

Washington, D.C., election interference case: On Aug. 1, Trump was indicted on four counts in connection with conspiring to overturn the 2020 election, relating to the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Manhattan hush money case: Trump was indicted on 34 felony counts in March for allegedly falsifying business records in an attempt to conceal hush money payments made to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal.

Florida classified documents case: Trump is charged with storing hundreds of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago, Florida, estate upon leaving the White House in 2021. The charges include violating the Espionage Act and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Georgia 2020 election interference case: Trump was indicted in Fulton County, Georgia, on 13 felony counts of tampering with 2020 Georgia election results.

In each case, Trump refused to take responsibility for his actions, blaming others instead. This continues a lifetime pattern of refusal to admit any mistakes. In a July 22, 2015, interview, Trump insisted, “Why do I have to repent or ask for forgiveness, if I am not making mistakes?”

Republicans want to blame President Joe Biden and the Department of Justice for all these charges. For that to happen, the federal government would have to have jurisdiction over every city, county and state government involved, which it doesn’t.

These indictments and charges are happening not because of Biden but because Trump has allegedly broken laws in these jurisdictions. He claims he’s courageously protecting his followers, standing between them and the federal government.

The following story, told by Trump himself, illustrates Trump’s “courage” and how he behaved when someone actually needed his help. Trump told this story during an interview with radio personality Howard Stern on July 16, 2008. Focus on Trump’s actual concern, the man or the marble.

“I was at Mar-a-Lago and we had this incredible ball, the Red Cross Ball ... And we had the Marines… So you have all these really rich people, and a man, about 80 years old … fell off the stage … this guy falls off right on his face, hits his head, and I thought he died. And you know what I did? I said, ‘Oh my God, that's disgusting,’ and I turned away ... he was right in front of me and I turned away … He's bleeding all over the place …You know, beautiful marble floor … It changed color. Became very red. And you have this poor guy … laying on the floor unconscious, and all the rich people are turning away … Nobody wants to help the guy…”

“What happens is, these 10 Marines from the back of the room. They come running forward, they grab him, they put the blood all over the place – it's all over their uniforms...they're swiping (it), they ran him out, they created a … human stretcher, where they put their arms out with, like, five guys on each side. … I was saying, ‘Get that blood cleaned up! It's disgusting!’ The next day, I forgot to call (the man) to say is he OK. It’s just not my thing.”

This is a perfect summary of Trump’s attitude – himself first, no empathy or compassion for anyone else. Why would his followers think he cares about protecting them from anything? As he summarized in his comment, “It's just not my thing.”

Jeanette Strong, whose column appears every other week, is a Nevada Press Association award-winning columnist. She may be reached at


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