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Donald Trump & Co.

Trump: Buddy-Buddy One Moment, Vindictive The Next

March 8, 2017

There has been a steady stream of business executives into the White House for meetings with President Trump - at least 9 such meetings since January. Attendees consistently report that the 'private' Trump can be charming and cajoling, flexible and inquisitive, and ready to express admiration for his guests and their companies. As we've heard in news interviews, business executives leave these meetings gushing with hope, if not confidence, that the President's agenda will essentially be pro-business.


Trump's approach to these meetings is "one of listening and not lecturing," said a senior White House official who has participated in industry meetings. "I've seen a president who is listening and asking questions to get to how he can create a thriving economy," the official said.


The public Donald Trump, @realDonaldTrump, that emerges through his early morning tweets takes on a different tone - one that is uncompromising and demanding. LIke Tuesday, when he tweeted: I am working on a new system where there will be competition in the Drug Industry. Pricing for the American people will come way down! That pre-market tweet was enough to prompt a sell-off of drug companies.


Which leads us to Trump's agenda for today, Wednesday, March 8th, when the President is scheduled to meet with a group of infrastructure business leaders. The lunch meeting will include business leaders from real estate, management consulting, private equity, and at least one environmental group.


Two-Headed Strategy.    This is a Trumpian pattern that we've seen the past 2 years - tell the people what they want to hear, then proceed with the administration's agenda, which may or may not comport with prior stated positions. It's one way that Trump seems to maintain the upper hand - by keeping everyone guessing as to his next move.