Katy Tur destroys the pervasive myth that Trump is a 'dealmaker'


Some people still cannot see through the absurdity of Donald Trump as a hard-bargaining, brilliant negotiator. NBC's Katy Tur does.

Donald Trump has always cultivated a mythology of himself as a shrewd, brilliant negotiator who can cut a bargain.

But since taking office, and especially since his repeated failure to wrangle a health care repeal bill out of Congress, Trump's supposed ability to cut deals has been exposed as shallow and fake.

Nevertheless, the notion of Trump as a sharp businessman able to make deals with anyone at any time remains a sort of conventional wisdom among many observers.

MSNBC's Katy Tur summarized this clearly in a discussion with Washington Post correspondent Philip Bump, and laid out concisely why it's wholly unfounded:

BUMP: They are dealmakers and they are trying to make deals on all these issues. And if you take health care off the table, then the president's going to be dealing with them on DACA.

TUR: I take issue with calling Donald Trump a dealmaker. I do.

BUMP: He fashions himself —

TUR: He fashions himself as a dealmaker. He hasn’t made any deals so far in Congress except for the package for hurricane relief. He hasn’t made significant bipartisan deals. He campaigned — he campaigned saying, "I alone can fix this, because I alone am the person who can reach across the aisle and can make people get along and get things done. I can make these deals happen." We haven't yet seen that. So does that mean that he gets more comfortable, as you said, with Chuck Schumer and tries to — tries to live up to this myth that he’s created?

BUMP: He very well may.

Tur hit the nail on the head. Trump is not, and never actually was, a dealmaker. His negotiating style in the business world consisted of scamming people, or of refusing to honor his contracts with people who were too poor to sue him. In a government of coequal branches, Trump's tactics are useless.

As Trump's presidency wears on, it is ever more apparent that not only can he not fulfill the duties of his office — he cannot even fulfill the image of himself that he has spent years selling to us.

As Tur put it, he cannot "live up to this myth that he's created."