The Slatest

It’s Beginning to Seem Possible That Donald Trump Is Not in Fact “the Ultimate Closer”

The president pretends to drive a big truck at the White House on Thursday.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Earlier this week Politico reported something very funny:

Members of Speaker Paul Ryan’s team, trying to appeal to Trump’s ego and deal-making sensibilities, have begun calling him the “closer” or the “ultimate closer.”

A Trump associate had used a similar superlative in a conversation with the week before:

“The President gave Ryan a chance,” one source close to the President said. “If he doesn’t get his act together soon, the President will have no choice but to step in and fix this on his own. He’s the best negotiator on the planet, and if this were his bill not Ryan’s it would not be this much of a mess.”

And here’s a March 9 CNN article:

“He gets the complexity of this,” a senior administration official said. “It’s a sell for him,” the official said, adding that Trump sees himself as the ultimate deal maker and “I think he’s willing to cut deals,” to get this legislation passed, the official said.

Trump, the ultimate deal stud, met personally with holdouts in the House’s Freedom Caucus on Thursday. Here’s how that went:

Screenshot/Hot Air

Trump subsequently turned to perhaps the most fearsome weapon in a master negotiator’s arsenal: the ultimatum.


And here’s how that ended up:


It really is beginning to seem like maybe Donald Trump is not so much a master negotiator and businessman as he is a flimflam bullshitter who’s only still rich because he inherited a fortune large enough to hire lawyers who, so far, have always been just good enough to keep him a few steps ahead of everyone he’s ripped off. Eventually, though, we all pay the piper.