2018 was a year filled with idiots—including the almost universally moronic crew of charlatans, scammers and failures orbiting around Donald Trump. Here are some of the worst.
Donald Trump’s many, many lawyers
On their own, each member of this venerable braintrust of corruption would hardly rise to the ranks depicted herein. However, when their powers combine, President Donald Trump’s assorted team of ambulance chasers (who, it should be noted, are definitely not the best the legal profession has to offer) have managed raise the bar when it comes to truly awful lawyering: Former mustachioed head lawyer Ty Cobb kept getting caught running his mouth in public and got duped by an email troll; other former head lawyer John Dowd might also have blabbed out of turn before he ran for the hills; and Rudy “9/11” Giuliani just keeps fucking things up. Great work all around, fellas.
Donald Trump Jr. & Kimberly Guilfoyle
Like that one clone in Multiplicity, Donald Trump Jr. looks and sound vaguely like his paternal namesake, only much, much dumber. Kim Guilfoyle, a former Fox News personality, meanwhile, seems content to spend her days staring blankly at the camera for Donj’s ongoing Instagram series, “two normal human beings who are definitely happy with life and each other.” Together they make up the golden couple of MAGA-merica, distilled to its idiotic essence. Are they truly in love? Who can say. Will she visit him if he gets tossed in prison? Only time will tell.
The Grifters: Ben Carson, Scott Pruitt, & Ryan Zinke
These Trump Cabinet officials really fucked up by forgetting to do Washington Grifting the right way. If you want to get away with it, you can’t be as obvious as “asking your staff to help your wife get a lucrative job” or “buying a $31,000 dinner set.” The correct way to grift here is to get a government job, then move straight into a cushy industry lobbying gig after a couple years.
National Security Advisor John Bolton has been furiously brainstorming ways to go to war with, well, anyone, but mostly Iran, and in the meantime has busied himself with attempting to erode NATO and the UN, as well as refusing at every turn to hold Russia accountable for any of the national security threats it poses. He’s gone to war with the Hague for daring to suggest that the U.S. and Israel have committed war crimes (they both have), and recently refused to listen to diplomatically sensitive audio of a U.S. ally brutally murdering a journalist because it wasn’t in English. We hope that he lives out the rest of his days in the White House screaming at John Kelly and getting absolutely nothing done.
Rep. Matt Gaetz is a 36-year-old Republican congressman from Florida who has really made the most of 2018 by being the walking, talking epitome of a Trumpian Republican while somehow still managing to be even more of a fucking lunatic than others of his ilk. Here’s Gaetz calling Haiti “disgusting.” Here’s Gaetz spreading a George Soros conspiracy theory about the migrant caravan that made its way to Trump himself. Here’s Gaetz calling into question the veracity of elections in his own state (with no evidence). Here’s Gaetz riffing off NRA talking points whenever possible. Here’s Gaetz nominating Trump for a Nobel Peace Prize. Splinter looks forward to his inevitable election as President in 2028, or something.
This poor idiot. It can’t be easy spending a lifetime living as Donald Trump’s personal lapdog only to realize you’re now looking at a lengthy prison sentence and a supporting role in one of the dumbest criminal conspiracies of the modern era. Which isn’t to say Cohen, an admitted felon who may or may not have ever been to Prague, hasn’t spent the past year trying to make amends: He encouraged people to vote! He ratted on the president! The guy clearly just wants somebody—anybody!—to tell him he’s good and useful again. Idiot.
Once a shadowy necromancer whose dark political magic helped conjure Donald Trump’s GOP nomination during the 2016 elections, Paul Manafort has spent the past year getting ruthlessly owned over and over again in (and out) of court. It doesn’t help that he keeps digging himself deeper and deeper into trouble thanks to a constitutional inability to tell the truth. Still, I’m sure he’ll have plenty of time to think about his personal and professional failings (as well as his questionable fashion choices) while he spends the next few years locked in a federal prison.
The governor-elect of Florida ran a virulently racist campaign against Andrew Gillum, but he was embarrassing as shit, too. Take this campaign ad showing him teaching his kid how to use legos to build Trump’s wall.
This guy gets a word for every minute this year that he had any relevance.
Ahh, the beef-eating grifter extraordinaire. The current Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross is one of many individuals around the White House that perfectly embody the shitty state of American politics, in which those with all the money buy their way to positions of power. What sets Ross apart, if only slightly, is his willingness to just straight up steal shit, from private equity investment money to Sweet’N Low packets, when buying his way in isn’t an option. Ross is a goon of goons, and for that, we thank him for his service in idiocy.