JARED’s wreaking havoc in the Middle East, upending decades of American foreign policy, all to appease an unholy alliance of Evangelicals, who believe the world ought to end so they can reunite with God, and kleptocrats, who believe the world ought to end so they can finally begin pillaging Mars and other heavenly bodies. IVANKA is at the White House, playing Snood on an old computer she found from the Bush Administration. HER DAUGHTER is reading a Seth Abramson Twitter thread via her mother’s social media feed. She’s not allowed to sign up for her own accounts because she’s so young, but she also needs to know what’s happening. IVANKA permits her thirty minutes a day to peruse the toxicity. HOPE HICKS and SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS are saying “Merry Christmas” to each other repeatedly, until the words become meaningless. They’re having a blast. GARY COHN is blatantly doing nothing. If someone asks, he’s waiting around for the 3pm HQ Trivia game. There’s barking and swearing in the hallway. It’s probably STEVE BANNON training CHICKEN FINGERS, the former K9 dog he plans to run to fill either Al Franken or Tom Cotton’s Senate seat.
KUSHNER DAUGHTER [to HOPE HICKS]: I guess what I don’t understand is, what else would your purpose have been? Like on the campaign. What was your role?
HOPE HICKS [lying]: I was managing the President’s communications.
KUSHNER DAUGHTER [condescendingly]: You weren’t on staff for the sole purpose of reading emails aloud to my grandfather, so he wouldn’t need to be carbon copied on anything that could incriminate him?
[HOPE HICKS fidgets.]
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS [pissily, to KUSHNER DAUGHTER]: What is this? [SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS brushes HOPE HICKS’s hair and directs Alexa to play Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” She realizes that she and HOPE HICKS will definitely stay friends after all of this.] Hope, you don’t have to answer that.
KUSHNER DAUGHTER [precociously]: I’m just trying to get ahead of this Seth Abramson guy everyone retweets all the time. And he thinks anytime you’re on an email, Hope, it means you read that email aloud to my grandfather.
[Someone dressed as SANTA CLAUS walks in. EVERYONE presumes it’s ROBERT MUELLER investigating wrongdoing, and they adjust their behavior accordingly. EVERYONE sits silently facing forward, hands folded on their desks with upright posture. SANTA CLAUS works quietly at an empty desk, making a list and checking it twice. And then he checks the list three times, four times and five times. Twenty minutes go by. SANTA CLAUS has checked his list hundreds of times.]
GARY COHN [whispering to KUSHNER DAUGHTER]: What do you think he’s looking for?
[KUSHNER DAUGHTER eyes SANTA CLAUS suspiciously.]
KUSHNER DAUGHTER [doing her due diligence]: Are we sure he’s Bob Mueller?
GARY COHN [lazily]: Who the fuck else would check a list hundreds of times before moving onto making another list?
[Even though he’s been fired months ago, STEVE BANNON walks in. He’s wearing a backpack and a tattered pea coat. If he weren’t an overweight Baby Boomer afflicted with gout and Rosacea, he’d look like one of those street kids who live under bridges and overpasses in the Pacific Northwest. He’s eating store-bought croutons from the bag like they’re potato chips. CHICKEN FINGERS is whining for one. STEVE BANNON tells her to shut the fuck up, pets her, and gives her a crouton.]
STEVE BANNON [assuming that EVERYONE is wondering about the dog’s previous owner]: He wasn’t slain. He died of natural causes.
[SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS coughs theatrically and points her head at SANTA CLAUS. STEVE BANNON does not receive her hint.]
STEVE BANNON [to no one]: He died before anyone got to accuse him of sexual harassment.
[IVANKA clears her throat theatrically and points her head at SANTA CLAUS. STEVE BANNON does not receive her hint either.]
STEVE BANNON [to no one]: And this guy was a fucking pervert. So clap it up for him. [STEVE BANNON claps his hands but no one joins.]
KUSHNER DAUGHTER [calmly]: Steve, enough.
[STEVE BANNON whispers to HOPE HICKS that the owner wasn’t even a cop. HOPE HICKS shakes her head, and then points it toward SANTA CLAUS.]
STEVE BANNON [loudly]: He was a displaced factory worker who refused job retraining and worked security at a mall. One of those malls that’s shuttered. [STEVE BANNON pets the dog.] An American carnage mall. He worked for a private security firm, but he fought in Vietnam, unlike Mitt Romney. She’s a pet, not a K9 dog. [STEVE BANNON feeds the dog another crouton.] A pet whose owner died of heart disease. A stroke, suddenly, while he was taking out the recycling. But it was a regular trash day. Only Mitt Romney recycles. [STEVE BANNON locks eyes with the dog.] Only Mitt Romney recycles God damn it.
HOPE HICKS [pointing at SANTA CLAUS and whispering]: Are you okay, Steve? Are you sure you want Santa Claus to see you embarrassing yourself like this?
STEVE BANNON [screaming]: Only Mitt Romney recycles!
[EVERYONE melts down. SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS yells that SANTA CLAUS over there is probably ROBERT MUELLER, and rhetorically asks why he would talk openly about how they’re running a dog, and not even a K9 dog, in the next special election. HOPE HICKS wonders why Steve couldn’t just sit down and shut the hell up like everyone else. She yells that STEVE is always so fucking STEVE, and she’s tired of it. IVANKA sits quietly but she is really fucking seething too. GARY COHN is playing HQ. Meanwhile, KUSHNER DAUGHTER approaches SANTA CLAUS, who greets her happily.]
KUSHNER DAUGHTER [to SANTA CLAUS]: I feel like there was a point in time, like back in February maybe, before they voted me shadow President, where this could’ve all gone so differently. Repave roads. Rebuild bridges. Fix the healthcare exchanges. Instead, he began with racism. Muslim bans. ICE raids in flyover country.
SANTA CLAUS [familiarly]: Little girl.
KUSHNER DAUGHTER [correctly]: They all think you’re Mueller but the bags under his eyes droop saggier than yours do. So that’s how I figured it out it’s you, General Mattis.
[GENERAL MATTIS removes his SANTA beard. He crouches down so he’s eye level with KUSHNER DAUGHTER.]
GENERAL MATTIS [sensibly]: I wanted them to think Bob Mueller was in the room. That way, if they changed their behavior, I’d know they had something to hide.
KUSHNER DAUGHTER [powerfully]: I know it’s fun to trick people but the next time you want to know what my staff is hiding, ask me directly.
[NO ONE feels silly that it isn’t ROBERT MUELLER with them in the room. If anything, they feel even less shame than they did an hour ago. STEVE BANNON remembers to return the credit card he borrowed from IVANKA earlier in the day. SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS asks IVANKA if she’s secretly in an alliance with STEVE BANNON. KUSHNER DAUGHTER reviews the list GENERAL MATTIS wrote, ways to stop JARED from starting a war. CHICKEN FINGERS sleeps beside GARY COHN, who is answering the third HQ question incorrectly.]