"I’m no political pundit but I grew up w a dad who was a federal prosecutor & he taught me a lot & I’ve also sat a fair amount of poker w serious players & l’ll say this: 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,'" Norton began a Twitter thread on Friday.
"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."
The Oscar-nominated actor expanded on his poker analogy, insisting Trump "doesn't have the cards" and that 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," Norton explained. "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."
The "Incredible Hulk" star then leveled several insults against the president.
"I will allow that he’s also a whiny, sulky, petulant, Grinchy, vindictive little 10-ply-super-soft b---- 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," Norton wrote. "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."
Norton added, "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."