After reading the leaked transcripts between Donald Trump and the leaders of Mexico and Australia, can we once and for all dispel the myth that he’s some sort of “master negotiator”? Not only has he shown absolutely no ability to get legislation he wants passed through Congress — despite his party controlling majorities in both the House and the Senate — these transcripts expose a man who seems to think “negotiating” is trying to badger other people to do what he wants to make him look good, then throwing a hissy fit whenever they don’t.
Wait, I thought reports of Trump’s contentious call with the Australian prime minister were all “fake news”? Well, at least that’s what Trump said a few months ago:
Thank you to Prime Minister of Australia for telling the truth about our very civil conversation that FAKE NEWS media lied about. Very nice!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 3, 2017
Based upon these leaked transcripts, in Trump’s own words, he told the Australian leader that their call was the most “unpleasant” and “ridiculous” one he’d had that day.
One again, Trump’s caught calling something “fake news” that turns out to be completely true — though that’s a topic for another article.
For those of you who haven’t had a chance to look over these transcripts, I’d highly recommend that you do. They’re some of the most pathetic things I’ve ever seen.
His call with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was incredibly sad. Numerous times during their discussion Trump had to be corrected about basic facts, while spending much of his time complaining about how bad he’d look if he were forced to abide by an agreement Australia had made with the Obama administration. Even though, as is evident by comments he made to the leader of Australia, Trump didn’t understand the details of that agreement.
His “negotiation” tactic with Turnbull seemed to be whine, whine, whine, tell him how bad this makes him look, then hope that the Australian prime minister would magically change his mind about the Syrian refugee agreement just to shut him up.
Though I think the most embarrassing aspect to his call with Australian prime minister was when he kept referencing the Boston Marathon bombers while discussing the Syrian refugees, only for Turnbull to have to remind him that the Tsarnaev brothers were Russians (they were actually born in Kyrgyzstan), only for Trump to dismiss that as irrelevant. Which is rather interesting considering Trump’s played up the “significance” of banning people from several predominately Muslim countries. So if where a terrorist is from is irrelevant, as Trump seemed to suggest during this call, then why the travel ban?
Meanwhile, his call with Mexican President Enrique Pena was equally as embarrassing. He spent much of their conversation trying to pressure Pena to lie for him to help make him look good. On several occasions, Trump asked Mexico’s president not to say that his country wasn’t going to pay for his border wall:
“But you cannot say that to the press. The press is going to go with that and I cannot live with that. You cannot say that to the press because I cannot negotiate under those circumstances.”
What does he mean by “negotiate”? Correct me if I’m wrong, but Trump ran his campaign by promising that Mexico would pay for the wall — a promise, at least publicly, he still continues to make. So who’s he “negotiating” with if not the Mexican government?
Though I would like to point out how incredibly weak Trump came off during this exchange. There he was, after all his tough talk during his campaign, with the Mexican president flat-out telling him that Mexico was not going to pay for his wall, while he practically begged Pena to stop saying that publicly because it was making him look bad.
In both exchanges, Trump came off looking incredibly incompetent and weak. A man who seemed more concerned with trying to badger other world leaders to make him look good rather than someone who seemed genuinely concerned about being a leader and doing what’s best for this country. I’d also like to bring to everyone’s attention the fact that, despite Trump’s whining, neither the leader of Mexico or Australia did what he wanted them to.
So much “winning.”
Looking at these transcripts, and the differences in vocabulary and how each man spoke, it’s abundantly clear how much more intelligent both Turnbull and Pena are than Trump. They were calm, collected, well-spoken and articulate while he whined, rambled on, and spoke with the limited vocabulary of a poorly educated 10-year-old.
It’s clear that even though Trump champions himself as some sort of “business genius and master negotiator,” he’s neither. He’s someone who was fortunate enough to have been born into a wealthy family, who surrounded himself with people who did most of the work, while he took the credit. This is someone who seems to think “negotiating” is throwing hissy fits if he doesn’t get his way, threatening blackmail, perpetually whining hoping people give him what he wants, and trying to bully people into giving into his demands.
What these transcripts revealed is what many of us already knew; Donald Trump’s a fragile, weak, insecure, and incompetent con man who has absolutely no idea what he’s doing and is completely unfit to be “president.”
I think a tweet I sent out Friday summarizes the content of both of these phone calls and most of Trump’s “presidency” thus far:
I think when Trump said that if he won there would be so much "winning" Americans would get sick of it, he actually meant to say "whining."
— Allen Clifton (@Allen_Clifton) August 4, 2017
Quick disclaimer: Like some Democrats, I don’t condone the leaking of classified information, even if it does expose the truth about a man I loathe. I respect the rule of law. However, I think it’s important to point out that many of these leaks surrounding Trump seem centered around people trying to expose the truth about lies Trump’s been telling. Meanwhile, Trump, himself, had absolutely no problem using stolen private emails from the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign to use against her during last year’s election. So it’s a bit ironic to see someone who eagerly used information obtained via a Russia cyber attack against U.S. democracy now throwing a temper tantrum because private information that shouldn’t have been made public (though some of what’s been released has been classified — which makes a difference) is now being used against him.