Trump Instructs Staff To Portray Him As 'Crazy' For Trade Negotiations

In order to get what you want in negotiations, you will sometimes need to take a different approach to the conversation. As a general rule of thumb, you don’t have to be too worried about having your plans shared with the world. Of course, all bets are off when you’re the President of the United States. But should that be the case? That’s among the questions making the rounds in the wake of this curious report.

As AOL shares, reports have emerged that President Donald Trump had some rather specific instructions for his top trade negotiator, Robert Lighthizer. Trump met with top officials in the Oval Office in September in regards to pending trade negotiations with South Korea. Somehow, the news outlet Axios received a play-by-play of the conversation.

"You've got 30 days, and if you don't get concessions then I'm pulling out," Trump reportedly said.

"Ok, well I'll tell the Koreans they've got 30 days," Lighthizer is said to have replied.

"No, no, no. That's not how you negotiate. You don't tell them they've got 30 days. You tell them, 'This guy's so crazy he could pull out any minute.' That's what you tell them: Any minute,” the report says the commander-in-chief rebutted. “And by the way, I might. You guys all need to know I might. You don't tell them 30 days. If they take 30 days they'll stretch this out."

There’s a lot to unpack there. For starters, who else was at this meeting, and why is a news outlet receiving a verbatim description of what went down? While we can naturally assume that the conversation was somewhat paraphrased, it’s still pretty eye-popping to know that such details would be shared from a meeting that was said to have taken place amongst ‘top officials.’

Every White House administration has to deal with leaks. Reporters prod and probe to get what they can and relationships are formed along the way. Some of those relationships metastasize into a wealth of ‘unnamed sources,’ and reporters have a veritable goldmine of information at their disposal. This has been especially prevalent in the Trump White House, but many of the leaks have crossed the line into information that really doesn’t need to be out there.

In this case, we have a negotiation over trade with another country. How do you suppose those negotiations will go once the president’s primary strategy has been shared with the world? We’re going to go out on a limb and guess they won’t go as swimmingly as anticipated. While there’s no guarantee that they would’ve anyway, there’s a better chance of that happening if the other side doesn’t know what cards you’ll be playing. Is this the end of the world in this case? Of course not, but it is a gigantic symptom of a larger problem.

Such is the nature of the beast in the world of political news, but there seems to be zero filter for the leaks that are coming out of the Trump White House. Perhaps that’s due to the increased interest in politics, or perhaps that’s simply a byproduct of our always-connected life. Either way, it’s pretty off-putting to know that the president can’t have a conversation with top advisers without someone blaring out the details of what was said.

Source: AOL
Photo: YouTube

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