Trump Betrayed by His Diet Coke Valet

Everything about this story is beautiful.

The Washington Post reports that his former White House valet -- the man who had to respond every time the president pressed his famous Oval Office Diet Coke button -- provided key evidence that led to the FBI's search of Mar-a-Lago in August. [...]

Not long after Trump took office, Nauta left the mess to become one of Trump's valets, spending some of his workday in a small passageway that connects the West Wing to a private dining room. From there, he had access to a small refrigerator stocked with Diet Cokes, which he brought to the president in the Oval Office when Trump pressed a call button on his desk.

Nauta frequently served as a kind of gofer, fetching any items the president might need throughout the day and tidying up the room, the former staffer said. When Trump left the Oval Office for the night, it was Nauta who brought his coat. Their daily proximity meant that the two developed a close professional relationship, and Trump "trusted him completely," this person added.

Nauta followed Trump to Mar-a-Lago at the end of his term, and campaign-finance records show he was on the payroll of Trump's Save America PAC, making about $135,000 a year. It seems Trump's trust wasn't entirely misplaced; the Post reports that Nauta resisted betraying his boss at first but eventually changed his story:

When FBI agents first interviewed Nauta, he denied any role in moving boxes or sensitive documents, the people familiar with the situation said in interviews before Nauta's name became public. But as investigators gathered more evidence, they questioned him a second time and he told a starkly different story -- that Trump instructed him to move the boxes, these people said.

Nauta's alleged disloyalty is a crushing blow not just for Trump but also for Downton Abbey fans, who were led to believe over six seasons and two movies that a valet is someone who will hand-wash unmentionables, happily accept their lower station in life, and never, ever tell their wealthy employer's dark secrets.

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3 Responses:

  1. Juha Autero says:

    That's what you get for using a non-British valet.

    • tfb says:

      The whole 'soul of discretion' thing is now and was always made up. There are two ways you get discrete staff, British or otherwise:

      • pay them more than the people who want them to spill the beans;
      • make very clear, with demonstrations, what will happen if they spill the beans.

      Downton Abbey is a bedtime story we tell ourselves, albeit one that some political factions want us to believe ('good british chaps running the empire, civilising the world, what ho, ignore that upper class person raping the servant, she enjoys it really, jolly good.')

  2. Birdy says:

    "Trump Betrayed by His Diet Coke Valet" is a sentence no human being should have ever had to read or write in their lives. And yet, sadly, here we are.

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