Prompt Images

Steve Bannon, Former White House Chief Strategist & Campaign Advisor

I have a keen understanding of human psychology, so what I figured was… if I can take a racist, egocentric, sociopathic businessman and lead him to unlimited political power, well, I would earn his trust and favor for the rest of my life, right? He would be dependably loyal to me forever. He would never, say, fire me and then tell the press that I cried like a baby, crawling on my hands and knees, begging for my job back.

It was, really, a perfect plan.

No, I’ve never read a comic book, a novel or seen a movie with a megalomaniacal villain in  it. Why do you ask?

Jeff Sessions, Former U.S. Attorney General

It seemed, based on my extensive experience in politics and keen understanding of the human psyche, that I could get out in front of the other Republicans by endorsing Mr. Trump early on. As one of his first major and credible supporters within the party, I will have earned the undying respect and loyalty of the president.

I assumed he would especially value my plan to set Robert Mueller on a long, confusing, open-ended investigation of the President’s ethical conduct  that the public wouldn’t ever fully understand and that couldn’t end in anything but impeachment in a biased Senate, eager to dismiss a bunch of convoluted charges that would never resonate with an American public fixated on MTV’s Siesta Key. By recusing myself from the investigation, I gave the President cover to claim that he’d been thoroughly investigated and exonerated. It was a move, I figured a coy businessman like Mr. Trump would appreciate.

I definitely never imagined he’d force me to resign and then spend the rest of his time in office trying to humiliate me and preventing me from regaining the Senate seat I’d held for years.

No, I never had children, so I’ve never seen how a cartoon villain behaves on those after school shows. Why do you ask?

Ted Cruz, U.S. Senator (Texas)

I know how to handle a bully. Let’s say some guy thinks he’s tough and starts calling you names in public like “Lying Ted Cruz.” And when you object to that, he calls your wife a fat cow. You go home and your wife is pissed because you just stood there and took it. So you go back to confront the bully and he says “Your Dad killed JFK.” Like, out loud, where everyone can hear. Then he calls your wife ugly again. How do you make it stop?

Well, I’m telling you, it will stop when you clench your fist and bump it right into his. That’s right, make that bully your friend. Do whatever he says. Flatter him. Call your own wife a cow. Whatever it takes. That’s how you win at American politics. Donald Trump is my friend. Donald loves me.

You know, I never have seen a coming of age movie. I’m not sure what that has to do with anything.

Michael Cohen, Former Trump Attorney

Hey, when I met Mr. Trump, I was a nobody. I’m not afraid to admit that. I worked 12 years for him. I had all his secrets, too. Now, I really know people well and so I figured there’s no way that Donald J. Trump is going to resent some two-bit attorney who makes his money trading taxi medallions in Brooklyn’s Ukrainian neighborhoods for knowing all his secrets and reminding him of that all the time. A dozen years. We were tight, he and I. And, as president, he could get anybody out of any jail just by signing a piece of paper. So I knew going in there was no way I’d ever spend even a night in prison.

No, I’m not really into Shakespeare. Weird thing to bring up, though.

Melania Trump, Wife

Of course everything will be fine for me. I’m his wife and the mother of his child.

No, I’ve never met his previous wives and I don’t really care, do you?

Robert Mueller, Former Independent Investigator

What do you all want from me? To fix it? You all elected him. I’m a lawyer, not a magician. Let me explain something to you. My very simple job was to conduct a comprehensive investigation and to deliver a report to the Attorney General without undo fanfare or hyperbole. I know you all wanted a miracle, but I’ve always believed it’s the quiet ones who truly accomplish things in this world.

No, I’m not watching the HBO reboot of Perry Mason. Worth my time or is it too late for me to get into it?

Michael Maiello

Michael Maiello is a New York-based playwright, author and humorist. His work has appeared in McSweeney's, The New Yorker, and Weekly Humorist. He has two plays available through

learn more
Share this story
About The Prompt
A sweet, sweet collective of writers, artists, podcasters, and other creatives. Sound like fun?
Learn more