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How the Mafia Classic ‘Goodfellas’ Directly Inspired Our Trump Book, ‘Sinking in the Swamp’

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For The Daily Beast’s membership drive, we’re asking our reporters and editors to tell the stories behind some of their biggest stories.

Barely a year into this administration, when the two of us—Daily Beast investigative reporter Lachlan Markay and White House correspondent Asawin Suebsaeng—were first approached to write a book on the era of President and racist game-show host Donald J. Trump, we were asked if we wanted to co-author something on the “adults in the room.” This meant: the president’s lieutenants who encouraged stability and maintained a respectable moral code against the backdrop and foreground of Trump’s tumult, vulgarity, and omnishambles. (Think: your Rex Tillersons, your John Kellys, your James Mattises… I guess.)

We politely turned down the assignment given that, 1) we, as a reporting duo, didn’t believe the “adults in the room” in the age of Trump actually existed and, 2) even if they did, they don’t actually matter and there’s no need to craft puff pieces or nonfiction propaganda for the Nikki Haleys of the world.

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