- Nicholas Johnston
- Jan 26
How 9 "Art of the Deal" quotes explain the Trump presidency
AP Photo/Eric Schultz
A friend of Axios took the time to read Trump's 1987 book "Art of the Deal." Here are the passages that stood out now that Trump is president:
- On a daily schedule: "I try not to schedule too many meetings. I leave my door open. You can't be imaginative or entrepreneurial if you've got too much structure. I prefer to come to work each day and just see what develops."
- On critics: "The way I see it, critics get to say what they want to about my work, so why shouldn't I be able to say what I want to about theirs?"
- On flexibility: "I never get too attached to one deal or one approach. For starters, I keep a lot of balls in the air, because most deals fall out, no matter how promising they seem at first."
- 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 in the nature of the 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.
- On bad press: [F]rom a pure business point of view, the benefits of being written about have far outweighed the drawbacks. It's really quite simple ... The funny thing is that even a critical story, which may be hurtful personally, can be very valuable to your business."
- On exaggeration: "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 fighting back: "[W]hen 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 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."
- On results: "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 competing: "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."