Bill Mitchell has plans ― serious, big-league plans.
“I’d love to do a ‘Regis and Kathie’-type show, but for politics,” the executive recruiter-turned-online radio host and vocal Donald Trump supporter said in an interview with The Huffington Post. “Something that brings information and intelligence. You have a good time watching, and you come away feeling a little more encouraged than when you showed up.”
For the uninitiated, Mitchell is easily Trump’s most full-throated supporter on Twitter and America’s foremost Kool-Aid connoisseur ― a truly bottomless source of enthusiasm whose unbridled admiration for the president-elect would make Sean Hannity blanch. When Trump says, “Jump,” his supporters might ask, “How high?” Bill Mitchell, on the other hand, replies, “Brilliant!”
“This guy has a way of winning,” Mitchell says, with all of the assuredness of a tween utterly convinced of Justin Bieber’s innate goodness despite his run-ins with the law. “Trump just wins. It’s remarkable.”
To Mitchell, Trump is the Bobby Fischer of 11-dimensional chess, positioning both himself and his enemies in such a way that some kind of yuge checkmate ultimately results.
“Donald Trump is a strategic thinker; most people aren’t,” says Mitchell. “Most people look at the object in front of them, and try to gain meaning from that in and of itself. When you have a strategic thinker, they don’t see that object in front of them. Some of the pieces don’t make sense by themselves. In his mind, he’s got goals for the various pieces.”
Over the course of Trump’s presidential campaign, Mitchell went from having a few hundred Twitter followers to over 160,000 as of mid-December 2016. His tweets have been featured on late-night talk shows and he claims he’s been speaking with publishers about writing a book, though he’s not quite certain what shape that might take. “I may put together a coffee table book of some of my best tweets,” Mitchell said. “What was happening when I tweeted this, what I was thinking.”
To say that Mitchell was emboldened by Trump’s victory on Nov. 8 would be incorrect. Like many of the president-elect’s most ardent supporters, Mitchell viewed Trump’s election as a foregone conclusion, an outcome as assured as global warming is false. “One of the things I was good at was looking at the polls and seeing the oversamples,” Mitchell says. Indeed, Mitchell’s views on polling are so comically untethered from science you might expect them to have been dreamed up by a guy called “Evil Nate Silver” who is just a clone of Nate Silver with a mustache.
Looking ahead, Mitchell doesn’t expect to land an administration job, and though he claims to be happy to remain on the sidelines, it’s clear he is a little stung or ― to use a phrase employed by the president-elect’s supporters on social media ― “butthurt.”
“I would be great at that job,” Mitchell said of the role of White House press secretary. “One of the things I’m good at is seeing the pattern in the chaos.” However, Mitchell is quick to add, “I don’t want to work in government.”
To Mitchell’s credit, he wouldn’t be a half-bad White House press secretary. His unwavering commitment to the president-elect’s often contradictory actions and statements is unmatched, even by many of Trump’s closest aides, who have a very bad habit of trying to influence their boss in the press. Mitchell possesses a camera-ready face and a Trumpian ability to both dismiss and propagate unfounded conspiracy theories. Take his response to a question about the completely false story about Hillary Clinton running a child sex ring out of a pizza place in northwest Washington, D.C.
“I don’t get involved in stuff like Pizzagate. The stuff that is conspiratorial, I don’t get involved in it,” Mitchell insisted, right before commenting that the arrest of a man who entered the restaurant with a loaded weapon was “too convenient by half.”
“It feels to me like a setup to take away the legitimacy from the story,” Mitchell said. “Again, that’s more conspiracy, and that’s not my space.”
To be clear, Mitchell is by no means a central player in Trumpland, and to call him peripheral might be overly generous. As BuzzFeed’s Charlie Warzel reported in October, Trump’s inner circle has had no contact with the online radio host, though Mitchell occasionally tweets that he has “inside” reads on what Trump’s transition team is up to.
Still, Mitchell is more than happy to build upon his current role as shepherd of an ever-increasing flock of eggs and Pepes on Twitter.
“In terms of keeping the grassroots pumped up, that’s my job,” he said. “There’d be election night parties with one person on their laptop and everyone asking, ‘What’s Bill Mitchell saying? What’s Bill Mitchell saying?’”
“So many Trump supporters were first-time voters, so they were very fragile,” Mitchell continued. “So they would come to my feed to feel better about it. I was like the suicide prevention squad.”
And so Bill Mitchell marches on, undeterred by Trump’s shortcomings, contradictions and missteps even as they lead other Trumpists to grow wary. Bill Mitchell has no patience for these people.
“Ann Coulter put out a tweet about the establishment, and I’m like, ‘Ann, what are you doing?’” Mitchell recalls. “Listen, we hired Donald Trump for his judgment, for his instincts. He’s not even president yet. Trust his judgment, trust his instincts.”
At this pace, Mitchell is fast becoming this decade’s Baghdad Bob ― the nickname given to former Iraqi Information Minister Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf, whose laughably optimistic reports about Saddam Hussein’s crumbling army during the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq remains the “Sgt. Pepper’s” of propaganda dissemination. Of course, Mitchell and Baghdad Bob differ in an important way: Mitchell’s guy won.
“He’s just better at everything!” Mitchell exclaimed during the Dec. 8 edition of his program. “I almost feel bad that I’m not keeping up on Twitter with all the awesome stuff that is happening!”
Huffington Post reporter Eliot Nelson’s book, The Beltway Bible: A Totally Serious A-Z Guide to Our No-Good, Corrupt, Incompetent, Terrible, Depressing and Sometimes Hilarious Government, is out now.