The thrice-Oscar-nominated Fight Club and Motherless Brooklyn actor-director tore into President Donald Trump in a widely shared thread early Friday morning, pointedly criticizing the outgoing president for failing to concede the election and continuing to make unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud despite no evidence. Norton called Trump “a whiny, sulky, petulant, Grinchy, vindictive little 10-ply-super-soft b***h” in the process.
“I’m no political pundit but I grew up [with] a dad who was a federal prosecutor & he taught me a lot,” began Norton, 51, whose father Edward Norton Jr. was a Marine lieutenant who served in Vietnam before becoming a federal prosecutor under President Jimmy Carter.
“I’ve also sat a fair amount of poker [with] serious players.” Norton is an avid card shark whose acting credits also include the 1998 poker thriller Rounders with Matt Damon.
Those credentials pre-empted a lengthy, poker-speak-riddled rant in which Norton opined why he believes Trump is attempting to overturn the results of a presidential election he lost by a wide margin of both electoral and popular votes to President-Elect Joe Biden.
“I do not think Trump is trying to ‘make his base happy’ or ‘laying the groundwork for his own network’ or that ‘chaos is what he loves,’” continued Norton. “The core of it is that he knows he’s in deep, multi-dimensional legal jeopardy & this defines his every action. We’re seeing 1) a tactical delay of the transition to buy time for coverup & evidence suppression 2) above all, a desperate endgame which is to create enough chaos & anxiety about peaceful transfer of power, & fear of irreparable damage to the system, that he can cut a Nixon-style deal in exchange for finally conceding. But he doesn’t have the cards. His bluff after ‘the flop’ has been called in court.
“His ‘turn card’ bluff will be an escalation & his ‘River card’ bluff could be really ugly. But they have to be called. We cannot let this mobster bully the USA into a deal to save his a-- by threatening our democracy. THAT is his play. But he’s got junk in his hand. So call him.”
Norton echoed what several (actual) political pundits have stated in recent weeks: Trump’s desperate attempts to remain in power may very well be related to the fact that after leaving office he will no longer be protected from prosecution afforded to a sitting president. More than a dozen investigations are already underway against Trump and his associates, including one criminal investigation.
“I will allow that he’s also a whiny, sulky, petulant, Grinchy, vindictive little 10-ply-super-soft b****h who no doubt is just throwing a wicked pout fest & trying to give a tiny-hand middle finger to the whole country for pure spite, without a single thought for the dead & dying,” wrote Norton, referencing the more than 250,000 Americans who’ve died from coronavirus this year.
“But his contemptible, treasonous, seditious assault on the stability of our political compact isn’t about 2024, personal enrichment or anything else other than trying to use chaos & threat to the foundation of the system as leverage to trade for a safe exit. Call. His. Bluff. Faith in the strength of our sacred institutions & founding principles is severely stretched...but they will hold. They will. He’s leaving, gracelessly & in infamy. But if we trade for it, give him some brokered settlement, we’ll be vulnerable to his return. We can’t flinch.”
Watch our 2019 Role Recall interview with Edward Norton:
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