Donald Trump billed himself during the 2016 campaign as a master negotiator who would pull the United States out of unfavorable deals and craft new ones that would help the American people. Critics say that hasn’t been the case at all during his presidency.
Trump built his career off a reputation as a shrewd deal-maker who built a billion-dollar real estate empire. Now that he has traded in the business world for the Oval Office, those skills have not shown at all, Kevin Drum of Mother Jones claims. The left-leaning news magazine claimed that Trump has “negotiated zero successful deals” so far as president, and instead has been schooled by other world leaders at the bargaining table.
Drum noted that Trump had nothing to do with the tax cut he passed, which had been cited as the crowning achievement of his presidency to date. The tax cut plan had been pushed for years by Republicans in Congress, and Trump did little more than sign the bill once it was presented to him, the report claimed.
Drum went on to claim that Donald Trump is more concerned with the appearance that he is negotiating good deals rather than actually bringing favorable outcomes to the American people.
“So that leaves zero ambitious deals that Trump has negotiated,” he wrote. “It’s not for lack of trying, either. He tried to repeal Obamacare. He tried to negotiate on DACA. He tried to declare a trade war on China. He tried to bully Mexico and Canada into ripping up NAFTA and starting over. He tried to persuade Russia to deal with him on Syria. He failed in every case because he had no idea what he was doing; what the other side wanted; or how to get there.”
Others agree with Drum’s assessment that Donald Trump has been bad at negotiating. Back in March, T.A. Frank of Vanity Fair claimed that Trump “couldn’t negotiate his way out of a paper bag.” The report noted that after threatening to veto an omnibus spending bill because it didn’t contain funding for his border wall, Trump ultimately caved and accepted the $1.3 trillion bill that not only gave a paltry $1.6 billion for the border wall (money that was forbidden to be used to construct a wall from the prototypes he inspected). The funding also specified that immigration officials could not add any new beds for detainees.
MILLER: TRUMP SURPASSING ALL EXPECTATIONS… https://t.co/sPbS4xqLTz
— DRUDGE REPORT (@DRUDGE_REPORT) May 21, 2018
The assessments of Donald Trump’s negotiating skills hasn’t had much of an effect on his followers. After reaching down into the high 30-percent range for his approval rating, Trump has ticked upward in recent weeks and has reached nearly 42 percent approval according to the poll aggregator FiveThirtyEight.