The Slatest

Everything Feels Like It Happened Forever Ago

Remember the big “we passed a health care bill” party at the White House? That happened two weeks ago.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Donald Trump is committing gaffes and/or light treason with such preposterous frequency that even well-respected and extremely knowledgeable public intellectuals like myself are having trouble remembering everything that’s going on. Time is dilating, just like Einstein said it could, as each moment is filled with more and more Trump news. Everything feels like it happened forever ago. For instance:

News broke that Trump told Russia’s foreign minister and ambassador that James Comey was a “nut job” and that a current White House official is a “person of interest” in the Russia-Trump campaign collusion investigation.


Actually happened: Like 20 minutes ago.

Feels like it happened: This one still feels fresh.

Roger Ailes died.

Actually happened: Yesterday.

Feels like it happened: Wednesday.

News broke that Trump had told former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who has been asked to testify before Congress about the Russia investigation, to “stay strong.”


Actually happened: Yesterday morning.

Feels like it happened: Tuesday night.

News broke that Flynn had rejected a plan to seize ISIS’ capital, Raqqa, that perhaps not coincidentally would have alienated the government of Turkey, which paid Flynn more than $500,000 last year through an intermediary.

Actually happened: Wednesday night.

Feels like it happened: Tuesday morning.

Trump complained to Coast Guard graduates that he is the most mistreated politician “in history.”


Actually happened: Wednesday afternoon.

Feels like it happened: Monday. Remember when we all started the week off by chuckling about how people like Abraham Lincoln had gotten a little more mistreated than Trump?

News broke that Trump told James Comey, before Comey was fired, that he hoped the FBI would stop investigating Flynn.

Actually happened: Tuesday at about 6 p.m.

Feels like it happened: Last week.

The New York Times published a story in which anonymous Trump advisers suggested that he couldn’t possibly have given away valuable intelligence to Russia’s foreign minister and ambassador because he doesn’t actually know enough valuable intelligence.

Actually happened: Tuesday afternoon.

Feels like it happened: Two weeks ago.

News broke that Trump had blithely discussed said top-secret intelligence—which turns out to have come from Israel—with Russia’s foreign minister and ambassador in an Oval Office meeting.


Actually happened: Monday night.

Feels like it happened: It simply does not compute that this story—about the president possibly blowing our decades-long relationship with Israel by blurting out top-secret national security information during a conversation with representatives of a foreign power that is widely known to be actively interested in sabotaging our government and is closely allied with more than one country that wants to see Israel wiped off the face of the planet—was only the second-biggest story during the week that it happened.


Trump tweeted a threatening message about possibly having “tapes” of his conversations with fired FBI director Jim Comey.

Actually happened: Last Friday morning.

Feels like it happened: 2015.

Trump admitted that he was going to fire Comey before deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein ever wrote the memo about Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email case.


Actually happened: Last Thursday at around noon.

Feels like it happened: 2012.

The entire Trump administration, more or less, went on TV to claim that Comey had been fired because Rosenstein’s memo recommended doing so.

Actually happened: Last Wednesday.

Feels like it happened: During the ‘90s. Friends was on.

Trump met with Nixon’s national security adviser, Henry Kissinger, at the exact moment that everyone was comparing him to Nixon for firing the FBI director.


Actually happened: Also last Wednesday.

Feels like it happened: In an extra-temporal dream space in which the Nixon administration and the Trump administration are taking place at the same time—one as a sort of a hollow made-for-TV recreation of the other.


Trump met with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador the day after firing his FBI director in what everyone assumed was an attempt to shut down an investigation into Trump’s connections to Russia.

Actually happened: This, too, happened last Wednesday!!!

Feels like it happened: What a day, last Wednesday. A Wednesday that will live in infamy.

James Comey was fired.

Actually happened: Last Tuesday afternoon.

Feels like it happened: In the nineteenth century.

Sally Yates testified before Congress.

Actually happened: Last Monday.

Feels like it happened: I don’t remember who Sally Yates is. Who is Sally Yates?

The House passed the American Health Care Act.

Actually happened: Two weeks and one day ago.

Feels like it happened: Milliseconds after the first inorganic compounds swirling in the ooze of ancient Earth spontanously replicated themselves—creating life where, before, there had been none.

We had a non-Trump president—one whose problem, if anything, was that he was too careful and deliberate.

Actually happened: Jan. 2009-Jan. 2017.

Feels like it happened: Pretty sure this didn’t actually ever happen. Doesn’t sound like the America I know.