IVANKA has always wanted to be a Russian oligarch, and now that she is the President’s daughter she has begun actualizing her dream, a London-style subterranean house under her brand new D.C. house. When he is not running errands for Gary Cohn, JARED oversees the construction. Today he phones a REPORTER while checking in on some new fixtures downstairs.
JARED [walking briskly past the general contractor, who is actually in charge of the construction, and speaking into his phone]: I want to leak something to you.
REPORTER [gesturing to his colleagues to come over for this]: Again? Great. Let me begin recording.
JARED [stepping over another contractor, this one gluing expensive, garish tiles onto a wall]: Remember when you said Bannon is the President? [JARED flicks one of the tiles with his free hand but he doesn’t know why.] Can you write in your next article that it’s really me who is the President?
REPORTER [skeptically]: Hmm, how do I say this? We think of you more as someone who has the President’s ear, like a moderating influence maybe, but not as someone per se in charge. Someone else does that part. Like one of the generals, who suggest bombing places to make the cranky baby happy.
JARED [lying]: Yes, yes. Those are all my ideas. To be a war president is my idea. So can you please call me President Kushner next?
REPORTER [brainstorming aloud the first draft of history]: I’m writing about how deeply incompetent the President is, on a structural level, but also how, in the long run, he is absolutely fine. And that’s because every day presents a new opportunity for him to become President. “One hundred days of becoming President Trump.” That’s the pitch at least. Can you tell me more about how you fit into this narrative?
JARED [triggered by REPORTER’s use of the word “pitch”]: Sure thing. [JARED straightens his back.] It’s an app the President can use when he is doing war and diplomacy. You just type in the name of a country, or like a zip code, and the product will tell him which political candidate in those places is the quote unquote Trump. Like all those House races or whatever, the ones they are constantly having. He can use the app for that. And then the Europe ones.
REPORTER [honestly]: I like that. So the app will tell him that Marine Le Pen is France’s Trump. That’s good.
[JARED jots down “Marine La ???” directly onto his hand, even though he knows IVANKA will question why there’s ink on his skin.]
JARED [shimmying past two carpenters building a sturdy and beautiful table that will rarely be used]: Right now I have a team of programmers coming up with all the different spellings the President might use. They’re writing an algorithm based off all his Twitter typos.
[Meanwhile it sounds like a literal earthquake upstairs. BANNON is back, and he is moving furniture around. The walls are quite thin, especially for an old home, and JARED can hear most of what BANNON is screaming.]
JARED [wondering whether he asked REPORTER to sign a non-disclosure agreement]: This is all anonymous, right? No one will know I am the one who says it’s President Kushner now?
REPORTER: It would help support the claim if we could source it.
JARED [genuinely curious]: Can you say Bannon said it?
REPORTER [frustrated because he just answered this question yesterday]: It doesn’t work like that.
JARED [emboldened]: Can you say that he is breaking into my house? We just changed the locks and I can hear him dragging Ivanka’s fainting couch across the first floor.
REPORTER [putting JARED on speaker so the newsroom can hear]: I can say that if it’s happening. Bannon lives with you?
JARED: He was supposed to move out and squat in his office. He is pushing the couch and he is screaming about how the furniture business used to thrive in great American cities like Jamestown and Roanoke before the globalists took over. He is screaming that he is driving the couch to the White House and he and Ted Nugent and Sarah Palin are going to chop it up with Kid Rock’s weapons and have a giant bonfire. All fucking night long. It’s Sarah Palin’s couch now. We’re white trash monsters and we love bonfires, he is screaming.
REPORTER [fishing]: He said he loves bonfires?
JARED [energized that he is leaking correctly]: Wait. He’s adding that maybe Palin will want the bonfire at the creek. The Potomac creek. He calls it a creek to get a rise out of the Democrats, my mother says. [JARED whispers.] She means me.
REPORTER [desperate for JARED to keep talking]: What else you got?
JARED: He can’t get the couch through the doorway. He is yelling that it’s stuck. Good fucking luck getting it back into your living room, he’s saying. He’s leaving, it sounds like. Next time you change your locks, he is screaming, don’t give a spare key to the support staff. Support staffs always like me because I negatively bond with them over the minority group they most fear is infringing on their economic progress.
REPORTER [fishing again]: Do you think that’s true?
JARED [stepping over an electrician who is wiring the fourth of four subterranean bathrooms]: Of course not. We’re very good to our help.
[The REPORTER is getting another call. He shushes the newsroom, and takes them off speaker.]
REPORTER: It’s your wife. Should I conference her in?
[JARED hears footsteps. It’s IVANKA. She has entered the subterranean part of the house. She evaluates the construction as she moves toward her husband.]
IVANKA [to JARED, via the conference call, but also in person]: I know you’re leaking to the press.
JARED [shamefully]: Did I break your heart?
IVANKA [bored]: What. No. [IVANKA directs a contractor to remove all the tile he has plastered to the walls. She pulls out a sample from her enormous bag and hands it to him. Then she addresses the REPORTER.] Hello, reporter. What did Jared tell you?
REPORTER: That’s not ethical for me to say.
IVANKA [while directing her lawyer via text to sue the contractors]: Ethics are for people whose income is derived primarily from a salary.
REPORTER: Can I quote you?
IVANKA: Of course not. That’s on deep background. So was whatever Jared told you, especially if it involved how our furniture blocked our doorway.
[IVANKA ends the call with the REPORTER. Then she lifts a Camelbak bladder bag she found on the sidewalk outside. The bladder bag is full of vodka and ground up painkillers.]
IVANKA [calmly]: Phone your mother and let her know we received the U.S. Treasury bonds she sent the children for the holiday.
JARED: That was kind of her.
IVANKA: She’s trolling us, Jared. She knows the bonds will be worthless by the time they mature. Please also tell her if she passive aggressively conveys she voted for her one more time that the kids and I are leaving you.
[JARED, desperate for validation, demonstrates his War and Diplomacy app to IVANKA who is now eating cashews, even though JARED is allergic.]
IVANKA: Tell her, Jared. [IVANKA finishing her cashews.] Steve also ignited a paper bag full of what I assume is dog excrement and left it in our doorway, alongside this. [IVANKA shoves the bladder bag at her husband.] Please resolve immediately.
[JARED nods pliantly, and writes down “Spotify but for fire departments,” on his arm. An electrician walks by, points to JARED’s note and says he thinks he means Seamless, not Spotify.]