The Real Trump In His Own Words (5 min read)

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The one thing we have learnt from the US election campaign is that social media (and regular media) can easily paint a one-sided picture of the “other side”. Donald Trump exploited this to his advantage to ensure he was able to get the coverage needed to become president. But using the image of Trump seen in that medium would then by definition be distorted. To get a better handle on who Trump really is, I thought it would be better to trawl through all  his views and show them in his own words. Thankfully I came across a book called “Trump on Trump” by George Beahm that collated much of his speeches and interviews since 2015. I’ve picked out the bits I thought most relevant for us all, and  you’ll find Trump is not who you imagined to be:

 Personal style

“I could handle pressure…I didn’t lose sleep. I never, ever gave up, and I fought hard to survive. The biggest I learnt is that economic cycles don’t last forever, they go up and they go down. And whatever you try to do to keep a cycle going, they end. Period. If you study financial charts from 1900 to now, it’s almost a perfect roller-coaster graph, it’s amazing”

“The key is you have to learn from your mistakes. So, it doesn’t happen again…there’s no make-up, but you have to learn from whatever it is.”

“If you want to be a success, you have to get used to frequently hearing the word “no” and ignoring it…Quitters do not get anywhere…When most people say “no”, they are doing it to further their own ends.”

“Very often I meet people with great ideas but they lack the tenacity required to make it, and sometimes they lack the skills. You have to know everything you can about what you’re doing. Not everything works every time. So you have to just keep at it and never give up”

“Most important, know the party on the other side of the table before sitting down them. Research who you’re dealing with, how they negotiate, and what they want from you.”

How to be President

“I’m not a politician. I can’t be bought…I won’t owe anybody anything. I won’t be beholden to anyone except to you, the American people, if you elect me to serve as your president.”

“I don’t want lobbyists. I don’t want special interests…I would take big contributors, as long as they don’t expect anything, because the only people that can expect something from me is going to be the people that want to see our country be great again”

“The government needs to be run as a business. Negotiating is an important skill in business and diplomatic relations and we need dealmakers with this ability. Also, leadership is crucial and I believe we don’t  have the best leaders. Teams are important but there has to be strong leadership. As an entrepreneur, I understand this concept and it applies to government as well.”

“I’m tired of politicians being president, because I see the lousy job they d and I’m tired of it…If Jack Welch, who runs General Electric brilliantly for 22 years, I mean he should be President.”

“I was from an area [Manhattan] that was all Democrat. And, frankly, over the years, I have – and especially as I have gotten more and more involved – I have evolved. And I have taken positions that are different than the past. And I feel strongly about them. “

Immigration (and the wall)

“We also want people of talent to come into this country. We want people to go to our colleges. You go to Harvard, you to go to Wharton, you go to Stanford, and you are immediately thrown out as soon as you’re finished getting a degree. You can be number one in your class at Princeton and be thrown out of the country, and …you’re forced to go work in China, …and you want to be in our country…I will have that changed and changed quickly. We want people of talent.”

“I’m a very big believer in the merit system. I have to tell you: Some of these people have here, they’ve done a good job. You know, in some cases, sadly, they’ve been living under the shadows…If somebody’s been outstanding, we try and work something out. But before we do anything, we have to secure the border because is like having  no border.”

“We have some really bad dudes right here in this country and we’re getting them out. We’re sending them back where they came from”

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best…They’re sending people that have lots of problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people”

“It’s an easy decision for Mexico: make a one-time payment of $5-10 billion (for construction of the wall) to ensure that $24 billion continues to flow into their country year after year…remittances from Mexican nationals working in the United States. The majority of that amount comes from illegal aliens. “

“Well, nobody knows the number (on 12 million illegal immigrants). But the answer is – you just said it: they’re illegal immigrants. They’re here illegally….If they’ve done well, they’re going out and they’re coming back legally…We’re rounding ‘em up in a very humane way, in a very nice way. And they’re going to be happy because they want to be legalised…When I talk about the wall…we’re going to have a tremendous, beautiful, wide-open door, nice big door. We want people to come into our country”.

“I have many legal immigrants working with me. And  many of them come from Mexico. They love me, I love them. I’ll create jobs and the Latinos will have jobs they didn’t have. I’ll do better on that vote than anybody; I will win that vote.”

China, Saudi and others

“I would make China respect us because China has extreme control over North Korea…And I would say, “China, you better go in there, and you better do something”…And if they don’t do that, they have to suffer economically because we have the engine that makes China works. You know, without the United States or without China sucking out all our money and our jobs China would collapse in about two minutes.”

“Look, China is like Mexico.. They’re taking advantage of the United States. They’re laughing all the way to the bank…Of course they should love us, they’re making a fortune off us. But we make nothing off them…That would change if I became President”

“Everybody is ripping us [off]… they see a person (Trump) will not let China and OPEC and these people take advantage of us any longer. I will tell you, if oil goes up any higher, this country will have a major, major economic collapse…We cannot allow it to happen.”

“[Saudi Arabia] want to reduce oil production [when there is a surplus] ….They’re not our friends”

“[On OPEC raising oil prices when the US economy is booming] So what they do is they systematically destroy any momentum you get…The economy stinks throughout the world, other than for China and for certain OPEC nations where they are making a bundle. “

“[On military support to Korea] They don’t pay us for it.”

“They [Americans] are tired of being ripped off by every single country that does business with us. Whether it’s China, Japan, Mexico, Vietnam – which is in there big and heavy right now – Japan with the cars…they [Americans] want to see great trade deals.”

Taxes and debt

“Well, I think the thing about the flat tax…is that if you make $200 million a year, you pay 10 per cent, you’re paying very little relatively to somebody that’s making $50,000 a year and has to hire H&R Block to do the [tax preparation] – because it’s so complicated….I’d like to do.. a reduction [in taxes] for the middle classes. The hedge fund guys won’t like me as much as they like me right now. I know them all, but they’ll pay more….I know people that are making a tremendous amount of money and paying virtually no tax, and I think it’s unfair.”

“I fight like hell to pay as little [taxes] as possible for two reasons. Number one, I’m a businessman. And that’s way you’re supposed to do it…The other reason is that I hate the way our government spends our taxes. I hate the way they waste our money. Trillions and trillions of dollars of waste and abuse. And I hate it.”

“They [American people] want to see reduced debt, because we are at the point where we are going to be soon at $19 trillion and …they can’t stand seeing it.”

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