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Inside the mind of Donald Trump – interview

Inside Trump’s Head: An Exclusive Interview With the President, And The Single Theory That Explains Everything, By Randall Lane, FORBES STAFF , 12 Oct 17,  This story appears in the November 14, 2017 issue of Forbes. If Trump really did call the White House a “dump,” he’s over it. Inside the small West Wing study—where he stacks his papers and takes his meals atop what he calls his “working desk,” the president talks volubly about a chandelier he had installed and the oil paintings of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt. He pokes open the door to his pristine private bathroom, a must for the germophobe-in-chief. He takes us outside to see the serene swimming pool. And inside the Oval Office, freshly renovated with drapes, carpet and fixtures that lean heavily on gold, he slides his hand across the same Resolute desk where JFK handled the Cuban Missile Crisis and Reagan fought the Cold War, adorned with nothing but two telephones and a call button. “This looks very nice,” says the president.

He could as easily be pitching a Trump Tower penthouse or a Doral golf club membership, and over the course of a nearly one-hour interview in the Oval Office, President Trump stays true to the same Citizen Trump form that Forbes has seen for 35 years.

He boasts, with a dose of hyperbole that any student of FDR or even Barack Obama could undercut: “I’ve had just about the most legislation passed of any president, in a nine-month period, that’s ever served. We had over 50 bills passed. I’m not talking about executive orders only, which are very important. I’m talking about bills.”

He counterpunches, in this case firing a shot at Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who reportedly called his boss a moron: “I think it’s fake news, but if he did that, I guess we’ll have to compare IQ tests. And I can tell you who is going to win.”

And above all, he sells: “I also have another bill… an economic-development bill, which I think will be fantastic. Which nobody knows about. Which you are hearing about for the first time… Economic-development incentives for companies. Incentives for companies to be here.” Companies that keep jobs in America get rewarded; those that send operations offshore “get penalized severely.” “It’s both a carrot and a stick,” says the president. “It is an incentive to stay. But it is perhaps even more so—if you leave, it’s going to be very tough for you to think that you’re going to be able to sell your product back into our country.”

And so here we are, the first president to come solely from the private sector, representing the party that for more than a century championed laissez-faire capitalism and free trade, proposing that government punish and reward companies based on where they choose to locate factories and offices. Is the president comfortable with that idea?

“Very comfortable,” he replies. …………..
For Trump, numbers also serve as a pliant tool. American business has fully embraced Big Data, Moneyball -style analytics and machine learning, where figures suggest the best course of action. But Trump, for decades, has boasted about how he conducts his own research—largely anecdotal—and then buys or sells based on instinct. Numbers are then used to justify his gut. He governs exactly that way, sticking with even his most illogical campaign promises—the kind other politicians walk back from once confronted with actual policy decisions, whether making Mexico pay for a border wall when illegal immigration is historically low or pulling the U.S. from the Paris climate accords, despite the fact that compliance is voluntary—citing whatever figures he can to justify his stances. When asked about Russian interference in the election, for example, he notes that he got 306 electoral votes and adds that the Democrats need “an excuse for losing an election that in theory they should have won.” For the greatest-ever American salesman (yes, including P.T. Barnum), statistics serve as marketing grist………..

there’s precious little about running the Trump Organization that provides the kind of experience that it takes to run the ultimate organization in America: the U.S. government. At the Trump Organization, he owns basically everything. There’s no known board of directors, no outside shareholders and no real customer base, save onetime luxury real estate buyers and golf club members. It’s far closer to running a family office than running Wal-Mart……..

Trump does have experience leading public companies, but even then there was only one shareholder who mattered. When Trump controlled 40% of publicly traded Trump Hotels & Casino, he used it to buy a casino he privately owned for $500 million, even though one analyst thought it was worth 20% less. At one point, he also owned more than 10% of Resorts International. He cut a deal with that company that garnered him millions in fees at the expense of other owners. Neither ended well: Trump Hotels filed for bankruptcy (for the first time) in 2004; Resorts had gone bankrupt some years earlier after Trump cashed out……….

Trump intends to run the country more like the Trump Organization in other ways. Much has been made about how slow he’s been to nominate people to key positions. In the State Department, for example, he has failed to put up names for more than half of the comfirmable positions. That’s apparently not an accident.

“I’m generally not going to make a lot of the appointments that would normally be—because you don’t need them,” he says. “I mean, you look at some of these agencies, how massive they are, and it’s totally unnecessary. They have hundreds of thousands of people.”

And how does this man, who’s never really had a boss, feel about now having 330 million of them, to be exact? He acknowledges the fact, but then answers in a way that is perfect, consistent Trump: “It doesn’t matter, because I’m going to do the right thing.” https://www.forbes.com/donald-trump/exclusive-interview/#26a98c32bdec

 

 

 

 

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October 14, 2017 - Posted by | politics, Trump - personality, USA

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