Understanding Donald Trump Through Quotes

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A few quotes from “Art of The Deal” to better understand Donald Trump

Trump on the press

“One thing I’ve learned about the press is that they’re always hungry for a good story, and the more sensational the better. It’s the nature of their job and I understand that. The point is that if you are a little different, or a little outrageous, or if you do things that are bold or controversial, the press is going to write about you. I’ve always done things a little differently, I don’t mind controversy, and my deals tend to be somewhat ambitious.”

Trump on framing a negative question positively

“The other thing I do when I talk with reporters is to be straight. I try not to deceive them or to be defensive, because those are precisely the ways most people get themselves into trouble with the press. Instead, when a reporter asks me a tough question, I try to frame a positive answer, even if that means shifting the ground. For example, if someone asks me what negative effects the world’s tallest building might have on the West Side, I turn the tables and talk about how New Yorkers deserve the world’s tallest building, and what a boost it will give the city to have that honor again. When a reporter asks why I build only for the rich, I note that the rich aren’t the only ones who benefit from my buildings. I explain that I put thousands of people to work who might otherwise be collecting unemployment, and that I add to the city’s tax base every time I build a new project.”

Any press is good press

“The funny thing is that even a critical story, which may be hurtful personally, can be very valuable to your business.”

“Not all of them liked the idea of the world’s tallest building. But the point is that we got a lot of attention, and that alone creates value.”

“But from a pure business point of view, the benefits of being written about have far outweighed the drawbacks.”

Trump on playing to people’s fantasies

“The final key to the way I promote is bravado. I play to people’s fantasies. People may not always think big themselves, but they can still get very excited by those who do. That’s why a little hyperbole never hurts. People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular. I call it truthful hyperbole. It’s an innocent form of exaggeration, and a very effective form of promotion.”

On Battling Opponents

“I happen to love to go up against these guys, and I love to beat them.” (In reference to tough, sharp, and vicious people)

“I’m the first to admit that I am very competitive and that I’ll do nearly anything within legal bounds to win. Sometimes part of making a deal is denigrating your competition. In this case, I happened to genuinely believe that the Starrett bid wasn’t legitimate, that the company would never close the deal and would not be able to successfully develop the site even if the deal did go through. The fact is that anyone can bid

“I told anyone who would listen how great my site was, and how horrible the alternatives were.”

“He began bad mouthing my site. The reason, I’m convinced, was that he didn’t want to admit that he’d wasted several years of his life and millions of dollars of public money on a location that never made sense in the first place. And that’s exactly what I said publicly. I accused him of being self-serving and petty and a half-dozen other things. He got pretty riled up. The battle received a lot of media attention, and ultimately, I think it was good for my site. It became just another way to promote my site’s advantage. 113

“In the end we won by wearing everyone else down. We never gave up. The opposition slowly began to melt away.”

Trump on fighting

“But when people treat me badly or unfairly or try to take advantage of me, my general attitude, all my life, has been to fight back very hard. The risk is that you’ll make a bad situation worse, and I certainly don’t recommend this approach to everyone. But my experience is that if you’re fighting for something you believe in, even if it means alienating some people along the way, things usually work out for the best in the end.”

Trump on not conning people

“You can’t con people, at least not for long. You can create excitement, you can do wonderful promotion and get all kinds of press, and you can throw in a little hyperbole. But if you don’t deliver the goods, people will eventually catch on.”

 On Donating To Politicians

“The simple fact is that contributing money to politicians is very standard and accepted for a New York City developer.”

On his motivation

“Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game.”

“I don’t do it for the money…..Deals are my art form…..I like making deals, preferably big deals. That’s how I get my kicks.”

“The real excitement is playing the game.”

“Other people paint beautifully on a canvas or write wonderful poetry. I like making deals, preferably big deals. That’s how I get my kicks.”

On Getting Opinions

“I’m a great believer in asking everyone for an opinion before I make a decision. It’s a natural reflex. If I’m thinking of buying a piece of property, I’ll ask people who live nearby about the area, what they think of the schools and the crime and the shops.”

 On Leverage

“My leverage came from confirming an impression they were already predisposed to believe.” Page 54

The best thing you can do is deal from strength, and leverage is the biggest strength you can have. Leverage is having something the other guy wants. Or better yet, needs. Or best of all, simply can’t live without.”

On Critics

“The other people I don’t take too seriously are critics. In my opinion, they mostly write to impress each other, and they’re just as swayed by fashions as anyone else.  One week its spare glass towers they are praising to the skies. The next week, they’ve rediscovered old, and they’re celebrating detail and ornamentation.” “What few of them have is any feeling for what the public wants.”

“My people keep telling me I shouldn’t write letters like this to critics. The way I see it, critics get to say what they want about my work, so why shouldn’t I be able to say what I want about theirs? Valid point actually. He’s heckling the heckler.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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