Interior. Trump, alone in bed, wakes up, roles over, and presses a button. The three TVs on the opposite wall light up. He sits up.
On one of the screens, talking heads discuss Bush 41, all agreeing that he was modest, selfless, empathetic, smart, experienced, prudent, a steady and wise leader, a model husband, a true patriot, etc. Trump becomes agitated and picks up the phone.
Trump: Get me Hannity.
Hannity: Good morning, Mr. President.
Trump: Tell the guys to go light on this Bush funeral thing. You know, it makes Trump look bad.
Hannity: Yes sir. [he pauses] But exactly how . . .
Trump: You know, just tell them it’s fake news.
Hannity: I’m sorry, Mr. President, you want us to tell them that Bush didn’t really die?
Trump: Nah. Just play up the wimp thing, tell ‘em that if he had been more like Trump he wouldn’t have been such a loser. He was a terrible deal-maker. Tell ‘em that.
Trump hangs up. He burps loudly and rubs his belly, regretting the three Big Macs he had the Secret Service fetch as a pre-bed snack. He feels slightly woozy.
His attention is seized by one of the screens, where the Fox anchor has just said, “Mr. President.” He turns. The anchor is silent, staring straight at him. Trump closes his eyes and reopens them. The anchor leans forward.
Anchor: Donald, I’m talking to you.
Trump: What the fuck?
Anchor: I am the ghost of Christmas yet to come.
Trump: This must be a dream.
Anchor: No dream, Donald. This whole Bush 41 funeral thing must be terrible for you. I mean, it’s all about someone else. And, let’s face it, the comparison is not flattering.
Trump: Yea, it sucks. Worse than McCain. At least I didn’t have to go to that funeral.
Anchor: You ever think about your own funeral, Donald?
Trump: What? Nah, Trump’s gonna live longer than anyone ever.
Anchor: But the day will come. In fact, you’ll also die a few days before Christmas. Want to see?
Trump: Wake up. I want to wake up.
Anchor: Look over there.
The anchor points to the adjacent screen. Three talking heads sit around a table.
Trump: I’m not watching this.
He tries to close his eyes, but cannot.
Talking Head #1: So can we all agree that, just as there was never another President like Trump, there’s never been a Presidential death like Trump’s? How will the nation deal with it?
Talking Head #2: I think it’s the end of a tragic chapter in American life. After all, he was the first President elected due to the machinations of a foreign enemy. The first President suffering from personality disorders that made him a pathological liar and crippled his ability to take advice or make fact-based decisions. The first President who was the subject of ridicule and derision by every foreign leader he dealt with. A man who destroyed the political party that nominated him. The largest election loss by any incumbent President in history. The only President convicted of multiple felonies arising from his business activities and confined to a Federal penitentiary two years after leaving the White House.
Talking Head #3, interrupting: Remember, one of the convictions was under the RICO statute, establishing that the Trump Organization was a criminal enterprise.
Talking Head #1: Fraud, tax fraud, tax evasion, accounting fraud, larceny, extortion, bribery – I can’t even remember the list. Remember the interview where he said that running for President was the worst . . .
Talking Head #3, interrupting, laughing: I seem to recall he said “only” . . .
Talking Head #1, laughing: Right. . . .“only” mistake he ever made. He thought if he hadn’t been President, they never would have discovered the rest. He said he would have lived out his life at Mar-a-Lago playing golf.
Talking Head #2: You know, one of the most remarkable things in retrospect was the lack of loyalty. Every President leaves the White House with a group of loyalists who spend the rest of their lives defending his reputation and trying to build his legacy. Can anyone think of a single member of the administration who defended him?
Talking Head #3: Just the opposite. They raced to write books, each filled with the lurid details of life in the West Wing. He was incapable of loyalty to others, so of course in the end no one was loyal to him.
Talking Head #1: Even Melania. Her book received the largest advance ever.
Trump: Enough. Fake news, all of it.
Anchor, sounding gruff and pointing at the adjacent screen: It’s not enough. Look.
On the screen, a cemetery in Queens. A casket is lowered into the ground. Three of his five children are the only persons present. They stand in a group, looking bored.
Voice over: It is a most extraordinary sight, unprecedented in American history. Congress voted overwhelmingly to deny the ex-President a state funeral. Congressman Menendez, minority leader for the New Republicans, said, “Where there was no honor, there shall be paid no honor.”
Trump throws his water glass at the second screen, breaking it. He turns back and addresses the Anchor.
Trump: This vision of Christmas to come, is it the only possible future, or can I change it?
Anchor: The message of Christmas is that we all have a shot at redemption. Even you, Donald.