Many were let down by the release of the search warrant from the FBI’s raid on Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence earlier this month, as the attached receipt of property contained only vague descriptions like “miscellaneous secret documents,” “confidential document,” and “handwritten note.” But one entry on the list did have that bonkers Trumpian je ne sais quoi. It read, “info re: President of France.”
We may ultimately learn the Mar-a-Lago raid was about something truly horrifying, like the former president selling off nuclear secrets or compromising the safety of intelligence sources. But those five little words gave gossip lovers a glimmer of hope: Perhaps the Emmanuel Macron document would spawn another entertaining yet harmless Trump kerfuffle, like that time he rudely called out the French president’s dandruff during a state visit to the U.S.
A Rolling Stone piece published Monday initially seemed to confirm these suspicions. The outlet reported that, for Trump, Macron has been “a subject of intense — and tawdry — interest for years.” It continued:
Specifically, Trump has bragged to some of his closest associates — both during and after his time in the White House — that he knew illicit details about the love life of French president Emmanuel Macron, two people with knowledge of the matter tell Rolling Stone. And the former president even claimed that he learned about some of this dirt through “intelligence” he had seen or been briefed on, these sources say.
Sacrebleu! This raid story just got spicier … or maybe not. Rolling Stone included this caveat: “It’s not clear whether the Macron-related document the FBI seized during the raid had anything at all to do with the French president’s personal life.” And while Trump has been known to talk about Macron’s “naughty” ways that not “very many people know,” the sources didn’t have anything more concrete — and even they doubted the former president really knew anything:
In his musing on Macron’s alleged indiscretions, Trump was light on details and specifics, according to the sources. And as a notorious gossip peddler for decades, it’s difficult to know if any of what he says is grounded in reality. “It is often,” one of the sources says, “hard to tell if he’s bullshitting or not” … In his conversations with his associates, Trump didn’t offer an explanation of how American spies acquired the supposed Macron dirt he claims to have seen.
To me, this confirms that the mysterious “info re:” Macron will be a big nothingburger. In the same piece, Rolling Stone noted that, during the 2016 campaign, Trump exposed Morning Joe hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough’s romance to some random, mid-level staffers, declaring, “You know, nobody else knows about it, but I know about Joe and Mika’s little apartment in the Upper East Side.” Trump built the larger-than-life reputation that ultimately landed him in the White House by leaking to the New York tabloids. In the mid-’80s, he even invented a fake persona so “John Barron” could dish to a reporter about how rich Trump was.
The French famously have very different ideas about sex than we uptight Americans do. Former French president François Mitterrand’s wife and his mistress stood side by side at his funeral, and Macron is married to his former high-school teacher. These “illicit details” about the French president’s love life would have to be pretty damn explosive to raise any eyebrows. I just don’t believe Trump could resist publicly blurting out gossip that good. But, Mr. Trump, feel free to prove me wrong!
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