Michael Moore’s obsession with Donald Trump could qualify as a form of entertainment, and perhaps he’ll one day fashion an entire documentary on the real estate mogul’s unlikely rise to Republican nominee. Moore seems equally repulsed and fascinated by his newest subject, and he’s gone from holding a protest sign outside Trump Tower and criticizing his “batsh*t crazy” rhetoric to kinda admitting, yeah, maybe Trump could win this thing.
However, Moore’s still forming narratives about this election. He recently penned an open letter to Ivanka Trump and asked her to come get her “deranged” dad and talk him down from the podium. Now, the outspoken filmmaker presents a new theory, which has likely been percolating for some time. Moore published an Alternet post that explains why he thinks Trump never really wanted to be president, and the entire campaign is fake. In Moore’s opinion, this whole affair was a publicity stunt to earn him a better NBC deal, and then the ball started uncontrollably rolling towards the White House. A few key excerpts explain Moore’s rationale:
Trump was unhappy with his deal as host and star of his hit NBC show, The Apprentice (and he Celebrity Apprentice). Simply put, he wanted more money. He had floated the idea before of possibly running for president in the hopes that the attention from that would make his negotiating position stronger. But he knew, as the self-proclaimed king of the dealmakers, that saying you’re going to do something is bupkis — DOING it is what makes the bastards sit up and pay attention.
Trump had begun talking to other networks about moving his show. This was another way to get leverage — the fear of losing him to someone else — and when he “quietly” met with the head of one of those networks, and word got around, his hand was strengthened. He knew then that it was time to play his Big Card.
Stick with Moore here. His theory is that Trump planned to reel in “tens of thousands of fans” with rallies (which did happen) and score yuuge in the first opinion polls (which also occurred). Then Trump meant to drop out after NBC offered him more millions of dollars, but something went wrong. Trump immediately began to spout xenophobic rhetoric after taking that escalator ride, so NBC was all … nope. They were so embarrassed by their star that they cancelled his beauty pageants, and then Univision followed suit. NBC finally canned Trump, who suddenly found himself stuck in a presidential race.
By this point in Moore’s theory, he’s completely enjoying himself: “Trump was stunned. So much for the art of the deal. He never expected this … [but once he began winning] Trump fell in love with himself all over again.” Moore keeps going, and he finally concludes that the past few weeks are “no accident.” He believes Trump’s accelerating behavior is all a ruse “to get the hell out of a race he never intended to see through to its end anyway.” You can read the full conspiracy theory here.