JARED is frantically texting his DAUGHTER, who now acts as the shadow President per a recent vote among some members of the White House senior staff. Even for a bright child who knows some Mandarin, the job is extremely challenging. GARY COHN warned her that much of managing is just listening to people bitch. But leading became easier after she learned how to delegate and how to read an indictment. Her job also became easier once she got her own office. She reads her father’s message from inside her shadow Oval Office, a Fisher Price indoor outdoor playhouse.
KUSHNER DAUGHTER [perturbed]: Dad, I’m in here. [KUSHNER DAUGHTER exits her Fisher Price indoor outdoor playhouse. She gestures to JARED to sit at the tea party table she’s set up outside her playhouse. Because the chair is so small his knees shoot up very high, like construction site cranes operated by men on the take.] And I can’t pardon you. He has to.
JARED [guiltily]: So here’s my issue. [JARED crosses his leg. His foot is practically on the table now.] Your grandfather blames me for the Mueller investigation.
KUSHNER DAUGHTER [practicing her handwriting on GARY COHN’s tax plan]: He also thinks you’re the worst political advisor in history. [KUSHNER DAUGHTER moves her father’s foot so she can look him directly in the face.]
JARED [nodding]: So when I get charged I need him to pardon me. If I get charged.
[JARED fidgets for fifty seconds. KUSHNER DAUGHTER’s phone buzzes. She responds “Thank you” to an email from KELLYANNE CONWAY listing why job retraining doesn’t work/matter.]
JARED [sadly]: When I get charged.
KUSHNER DAUGHTER [drawing a castle and a princess on the part of GARY COHN’s tax plan that would increase the deficit]: Dad.
[JARED looks hopefully at his DAUGHTER.]
KUSHNER DAUGHTER [powerfully but calmly]: I’m not your therapist. [KUSHNER DAUGHTER texts her indulgent lunch order to the White House kitchen—something, anything genetically modified.] But I am your daughter and I don’t want you to go to jail. [To herself, quietly.] Do I want him to go to jail?
JARED [rummaging in his work bag, a trendy knapsack]: Can you put this on? [JARED hands his daughter a TRUMP mask, left over from Halloween.] This will somehow be easier if I don’t have to look at you directly. You’ll understand one day when you have children of your own.
KUSHNER DAUGHTER [wisely]: Asking your own children for help is a very acute form of humiliation. [She lovingly accepts the mask from her father.] Uncle Junior’s?
JARED [nodding]: A lot of people have this mask, but yes.
[KELLYANNE CONWAY and GARY COHN walk in, discussing office email etiquette like the entire Administration isn’t being investigated. It’s literally the first time they’re speaking directly to each other.]
GARY COHN [nonchalantly]: I told IT to deactivate my email. Actually. It was a condition of my employment here.
KELLYANNE CONWAY [dramatically for effect]: I’m doing high-level messaging. I don’t have time to delete emails. [She sees JARED with a baby TRUMP and straightens up, until she realizes it’s only KUSHNER DAUGHTER.] You may be the first female shadow President, but I was the first woman to run a winning presidential campaign. [KELLYANNE CONWAY points to herself.] I paved the way for you. [KELLYANNE CONWAY jabs the tea party table.]
[KUSHNER DAUGHTER removes the mask to roll her eyes at GARY COHN.]
KUSHNER DAUGHTER [sensibly]: How long does it take to delete an email? Everything is stalled for as long as this Mueller stuff takes. You have plenty of time.
KELLYANNE CONWAY [cynically, for her]: If you were desperate enough to vote for us, your life has been stalled for the last twenty, maybe forty years.
GARY COHN [plugging his ears]: What’s another two years?
KELLYANNE CONWAY [strategically]: And by the way. We need to get the fuck out of the thirties. If we make this about Hillary we can get to at least forty-six.
KUSHNER DAUGHTER [admirably]: I’m not making this about Hillary.
[KUSHNER DAUGHTER shows KELLYANNE CONWAY a tweet with a photo of a child dressed as MAXINE WATERS with more likes than any tweet her grandfather has ever sent.]
JARED [not helpfully]: We raised our daughter to be well mannered.
KELLYANNE CONWAY [to no one]: Now he cares about politeness. Where were these manners when you were redacted?
[KUSHNER DAUGHTER looks confused.]
KELLYANNE CONWAY [flirtatiously]: Gary said I should say “redacted” whenever I’m referring to anything related to the Mueller inquiry.
[GARY COHN shouts “La la la” over KELLYANNE CONWAY as she pages through the book of Grumpy Cat memes KUSHNER DAUGHTER set on her tea party table to add levity and whimsy to a grim and awful White House. KELLYANNE CONWAY smiles to herself, though she doesn’t want to. KUSHNER DAUGHTER puts the TRUMP mask back on and directs JARED to continue with his dress rehearsal.]
JARED [mumbling]: Can I get a pardon from you?
KUSHNER DAUGHTER [powerfully]: Try using pardon as a verb.
JARED [fumbling]: Can I be pardoned by you?
KUSHNER DAUGHTER [powerfully]: Active voice.
JARED [quietly]: Can you pardon me?
KUSHNER DAUGHTER [to herself]: That’s a supplicant’s pose, I suppose, but when has he ever been the protagonist of his own story?
JARED [loudly]: Can you pardon me?
[KUSHNER DAUGHTER has an a-ha moment. She removes her mask.]
KUSHNER DAUGHTER [decisively]: You have to have Steve ask him.
KELLYANNE CONWAY [setting down the Grumpy Cat book]: He does everything Steve says.
[JARED looks to GARY COHN who doesn’t so much as shrug in case anyone from MUELLER’s team is spying on them. He resignedly dials STEVE BANNON.]
JARED [anxiously, for him]: It’s Jared. [JARED looks to his daughter, pleadingly.] Jared. [JARED looks to GARY COHN, nervously.] The worst political advisor in America history. [JARED looks to KELLYANNE CONWAY, helplessly.] Jared, the worst political advisor in Western Civilization. [JARED looks at the floor.] I need a favor.
[EVERYONE can hear STEVE BANNON mock and excoriate JARED. JARED hangs up his phone.]
KUSHNER DAUGHTER [embarrassed second-handedly]: What did he say?
JARED [glumly]: Redacted redacted redacted redacted. And then he got distracted and started reading about ten stretches that would help him get rid of sciatica. I don’t know. It seemed like he was reading Facebook or something. But then he called me an asshole and a petulant child and an asshole again.
KUSHNER DAUGHTER [practically]: Anything else?
JARED [declaratively]: Redacted redacted redacted.
[GENERAL MATTIS emerges from the Fisher Price indoor outdoor Oval Office.]
GENERAL MATTIS [at attention]: Many of our voters, many of our colleagues refuse to understand that the Civil War fundamentally transformed our Constitution. That’s a question of law and not a question of fact. Whether the Civil War fundamentally transformed our nation is a question of fact that we must, in perpetuity, keep asking and keep answering. All great nations are cursed and that is ours.
KUSHNER DAUGHTER [to GARY COHN, who doesn’t give a shit]: Every bottom of every hour he stands at attention and says that. At first it was distracting but now I kind of like it. And it’s a good reminder, especially to General Kelly.
[She clinks plastic tea cups with GENERAL MATTIS as he jokes that Sam Clovis is more so the king of hot dogs than the King of the Franks.]
JARED [to GENERAL MATTIS and apropos of nothing]: You’re the first person in the military I’ve ever met.
GENERAL MATTIS [at ease]: You’re embarrassing yourself in front of your mentor.
[Both KUSHNER DAUGHTER and GARY COHN assume the GENERAL is talking about them. JARED gets up from the tea party table to meet with his lawyers.]
KUSHNER DAUGHTER [dearly]: Dad.
[JARED turns around hopefully.]
KUSHNER DAUGHTER [powerfully]: Your read receipts are on.
[JARED fumbles with his phone, trying to figure out how to turn off his read receipts. He does not succeed. EVERYONE ELSE tries to cut taxes for criminally wealthy people.]