Donald Trump attributes his success in the business world to his prowess in deal making. He even wrote a book about it. Now that he is president, he has to cut lots of deals. There is one main difference though. The deals he cuts as president are much more visible than the ones he cut as a businessman.
Any time Trump – or any president – cuts a deal it is immediately dissected by the Washington establishment. Any possible flaw will be exposed. It doesn’t really matter if it was the best deal he could have gotten or if he is playing a long game in his negotiating strategy. Someone will find a good reason to criticize the deal.
For weeks after the deal is done, the media will continue to investigate it. More of the deal’s apparent flaws will be revealed. And the whole country will know about them.
This is not something Donald Trump is used to. It cannot be pleasant for him to have one of his key skills constantly questioned in the most public way, and all of his deals stripped bare.
At first, he will try to stop the leaks that are frustrating his ability to cut secret deals. He will retaliate against leakers and those in the press that publicize the leaks. Courts permitting, he may even try some very draconian retaliation.
But stopping leaks in Washington is a hopeless cause and the information will eventually get out. Will Trump’s deal-making reputation take a hit among his supporters or will he continue to be able to explain any flaws away?