HOLT/TRUMP

A dramatic retelling of the post-impeachment interview between NBC anchor Lester Holt and former president Donald Trump.

A BLINDING WHITE LIGHT

TV lights are switched on. We’re in a television studio, (though we only see fragments/details).

SOUND TECHNICIANS go about their business rigging lights. Setting-up microphones. Running cables.

CAMERAMEN put on headphones, check their cameras. ELECTRICIANS and CARPENTERS put finishing touches to the set.

At the centre of attention, two men.

The glow of lights. The DIRECTOR, EDITOR, and PRODUCTION TEAM in the production truck make final checks.

A MAKE-UP LADY gives TRUMP a touch of tanner.

TRUMP clears his throat. He looks down. Then..

TRUMP
Those shoes. They’re Italian, aren’t they?
HOLT
My shoes..? No..
TRUMP
They’re Italian.

He stares at them enviously, as DAVIS, the STUDIO MANAGER calls out..

DAVIS
Five, four, three..

TRUMP and HOLT focus in anticipation, two athletes waiting for the gun, then DAVIS cues HOLT..‘Go!’

HOLT
Mr. President, we are going to be covering a lot of subjects over the course of this interview, but I’d like to begin by asking you one question, more than any other, almost every American and people all over the world want me to ask: “Did you or your campaign work with the Russian government to undermine the 2016 presidential election?”

TRUMP perceptibly flinches. Stares at HOLT. Then, a barely perceptible flicker behind his eyes..

TRUMP
You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. It’s an excuse. The electoral college is almost impossible for a Republican to win. It’s very hard because you start off at such a disadvantage. So, everybody was thinking they should’ve won the election.
And I have a certified letter, just so you understand. I’m not just saying that. I’ve given the letter, I’ve given the letter to Sen. Lindsey Graham, he has the letter, and I think frankly, it’s, I assume he’s gonna give the letter out, but it says I am not involved in Russia. No loans, no nothing.
I don’t know who Putin is. He said one nice thing about me. He said I’m a genius. I said thank you very much to the newspaper and that was the end of it. I never met Putin. I’ve never been to Russia.
The only thing I ever did in Russia was the pageant, Miss Universe pageant. So we invited President Putin, that’ll be interesting, I said. Maybe he will become my new best friend. I don’t know. When I went to Russia with the Miss Universe pageant, Putin contacted me and was so nice. I mean, the Russian people were so fantastic to us.
But I never met Putin. Putin hates us. He hates Obama. He doesn’t hate us. I think he likes me. I get along great with him I think. If you want to know the truth.
Now this election hacking. If he did it, fine. But I don’t know that he did it. You know, people are saying they think it was him, it might have been him, it could have been him. But Holt, in all fairness to Putin — I don’t know. You know, and I’m not saying this because he says, ‘Trump is brilliant and leading everybody’ — the fact is that, you know, he hasn’t been convicted of anything.
I have no relationship with him other than he called me a genius. He said, ‘Donald Trump is a genius and he is going to be the leader of the party and he’s going to be the leader of the world,’ or something.
As far as the cyber, we should be better than anybody else, and perhaps we’re not. I don’t think anybody knows it was Russia. They’re saying Russia, Russia, Russia, but I don’t — maybe it was. I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, OK?
All I said was, Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’ll be able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you’ll probably be rewarded mightily by our press. By anyone. Because it was such an awful thing Clinton did.
HOLT
I’m sorry..?
TRUMP
So we paid Russia for the DNC emails and worked with the Wiki, Wikileaks, on when to release them.

HOLT stares at TRUMP. Unable to believe what he has just witnessed.

FADE TO BLACK.

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