‘Tell Them This Guy Is Crazy’: Trump Now Instructs Advisors To Tell People He’s Lost His Mind

"The downsides are obvious."

From the very beginning, Donald Trump has always contended that the best way to conduct foreign policy is to keep the other side guessing.

That approach fails to take into consideration the fact that unlike the business world, everyone is not an adversary. It makes no sense to keep America’s allies in a constant state of perplexity as to what the U.S. intends to do on critical issues related to things like trade and, more crucially, defense.

You’ll recall the following exceptionally absurd soundbite from Trump’s first solo presser as President when he did his best impression of someone (although it wasn’t entirely clear who) discussing the strategy for retaking Mosul from ISIS:

There you go. Even if you’re a believer in preserving the element of surprise, there are better ways to communicate it than that.

Well since then, it’s become unclear whether Trump’s unpredictable foreign policy is strategic or merely a byproduct of gross incompetence.

For their part, the North Koreans are just as clueless as the rest of us. Recall that earlier this week, the Washington Post reported that Pyongyang has now taken to basically begging Republican strategists to help them avoid a nuclear war. Just read this and try to keep yourself from laughing:

North Korean government officials have been quietly trying to arrange talks with Republican-linked analysts in Washington, in an apparent attempt to make sense of President Trump and his confusing messages to Kim Jong Un’s regime.

The outreach began before the current eruption of threats between the two leaders, but will likely become only more urgent as Trump and Kim have descended into name-calling that, many analysts worry, sharply increases the chances of potentially catastrophic misunderstandings.

“Their No. 1 concern is Trump. They can’t figure him out,” said one person with direct knowledge of North Korea’s approach to Asia experts with Republican connections.

Yes, Pyongyang’s “No. 1 concern is Trump” and they “can’t figure him out.”  Welcome to our world, Kim – welcome to American hell.

Again, Trump would undoubtedly say this is all part of the plan. He’s always promised to be unpredictable when it comes to foreign adversaries. That was initially welcomed by voters of a war-hawk-ish persuasion, but something tells us this wasn’t what people had in mind.

But it’s not just military strategy. As Axios reports on Sunday evening, Trump recently instructed Robert Lighthizer to deliberately deceive the South Koreans on trade. To wit:

In an Oval Office meeting earlier this month, President Trump gave his top trade negotiator, Robert Lighthizer, an Art of the Deal-style coaching session on how to negotiate with the South Koreans.

Trump’s impromptu coaching came in the middle of a pivotal conversation with top officials about whether or not to withdraw from the U.S.-Korean trade deal. Sources familiar with the conversation paraphrased the exchange for Axios, and the White House did not dispute this account.

A number of senior officials and cabinet secretaries were present for the conversation, including Defense Secretary Mattis, Agriculture Secretary Perdue, and Secretary of State Tillerson. At issue was whether the U.S. would withdraw from the Korean trade deal — an action Trump threatened but still hasn’t done.

“You’ve got 30 days, and if you don’t get concessions then I’m pulling out,” Trump told Lighthizer.

“Ok, well I’ll tell the Koreans they’ve got 30 days,” Lighthizer replied.

“No, no, no,” Trump interjected. “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,” Trump continued. “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.”


Clearly, that is not the way you “negotiate” with an ally, especially when that ally is in a precarious security position itself partly the product of Trump employing the same “strategy” in the standoff with Kim.

As Axios drying notes, “the downsides [to this are] obvious: the rhetoric can unnerve allies and has the potential to provoke enemies into needless, unintended war.”

Any questions?



3 comments on “‘Tell Them This Guy Is Crazy’: Trump Now Instructs Advisors To Tell People He’s Lost His Mind

  1. “. . . it’s become unclear whether Trump’s unpredictable foreign policy is strategic or merely a byproduct of gross incompetence.”

    Unclear? Of course, you’re kidding.

  2. Trump is using “Salvador Dali Strategy” or quoting Dalit: “The only difference between me and a crazy person – is that I’m not crazy.” However, Dali’s sanity has been questioned by numerous mental health experts for decades – before and after his death in 1989. It would seem that the expert mental health consensus is that Dali’s persona of “crazy” was acquired to attract the media and public attention necessary to promote his art work and – not so crazy. On the other hand some of his childhood abnormal sexual developmental issues and their impacts on his adulthood behaviors and including the extreme need for success and attention. This includes his acquired bizarre persona to achieve that success – all of which deviates far from mental normalcy.

    Trump seems to be this kind of crazy – a deviation from the factual and logical into the surreal – blurring, confusing and disguising the borders of Trump’s mental competency. This can apparently work if you are a talented artist, but not so much if you are a mediocre real estate con artist with advancing senility, and you somehow (Russia) get elected as President of the US.

    Trump’s corruptions, moral and mental incompetencies are disturbing, but comparatively minor problems in and assuming we have a future. More importantly they are symptomatic of the US’s much greater long term governance problems. What more does it take to demonstrate the frailty, vulnerability, corruptions and current incompetency of our political parties and democratic election systems? How much more obvious does Congress’s criminal irresponsibilities have to become for not removing an obvious professionally, mentally and legally incompetent President that daily embarrasses and endangers the US?

  3. When a President resorts to the amateurish ploy of telegraphing to the other side that you can’t on your ally because he’s crazy, the other side has good and reliable confirmation that the President is crazy in all respects.

    It’s been clear since Trump first appeared on the national scene and was hosted by the likes of Phil Donahue and others that Trump is a big mouth with a small mind. He lacks all the essential skills of a President, a leader, or a person possessed of the characteristics of someone who can or should be trusted, e.g., honesty, ethics, patience, wisdom, conviction, virtue, respect for others, self-respect, even temperament, fairness of heart and sound judgment. I left out his lack of knowledge of all relevant subjects to include those learned in high school, college and thereafter through reading books and otherwise since all of you know he’s a dullard in that respect. Now, however, when a nation adds to that picture that their President is stone cold “crazy,” what does a nation do?

    During the Vietnam War era, when many recognized that our nation was imperiled, countless took action to oppose that policy. Americans from every walk of life became a force to be reckoned with and ultimately, some argue, changed the course of history. The same can be said of the mobilization of Americans during the Civil Rights era.

    Remember elderly Americans chasing Congressman Dan Rostenkowsi down a Chicago street in the summer of 1989 when, as chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, he dared to expand Medicare by providing coverage for the high costs of extended illness? The rub was that in some cases, the expansion imposed an increased on a surtax for some seniors who had lower incomes. He refused to speak to the older Americans. Aside from the merits, the action is the point. These Americans didn’t lay down. The video was seen around the world. Currently, we have seen similar energy in the opposition to the #FakeGreatestHealthCareEver via #Repeal&ReplaceObamacare.

    However, the reaction Americans against the growing tyranny and danger posed by the Monster in the White House has been mild from what I see. When talking heads observe that they don’t know what democrats stand for, it’s quite easy to agree with them. Except for a handful of democrats, most have been in deep slumber. Of course, republicans are useless. I’m not sure what “independents,” are in this context, except a label for polling and data points since there is no identifiable voice except when presidential elections come around. So, as to the parties represented by Jill Stein, Gary Johnson and Evan McMullin, nary a word. As to Bernie Sanders? Bernie is being Bernie:

    What am I missing here? Has America capitulated/given up? Don’t they see the danger? Don’t they sense a personal danger or is only a danger to the rest of the world? I get it that the polls show that majority of Americans opine that the Monster in the White House shames and embraces them, that he’s unfit, and he’s bald, blah, blah. But is that the end of their concern?

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