Feb 9, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Bloomberg's theory of Trump

Photo: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

Others have tried this tactic without success — remember Hillary Clinton? — but Mike Bloomberg plans to attack President Trump on his business record.

One difference: Trump's pre-White House career can now be linked with his decisions as president. Another difference: Bloomberg will be making this argument as a multibillionaire who built a multinational company.

Between the lines: The crux of Bloomberg's argument is that Trump has only ever had to think about crushing his next adversary in a deal rather than building a long-term customer relationship — and that this short-term, win-at-all-costs mindset defines how Trump operates as president, and with allies.

  • "He is a real estate promoter as opposed to a businessman," Bloomberg told me at a campaign stop last Monday in Compton, south of downtown LA. "And they have very different ways of going about things."

Bloomberg's full comments:

"A promoter does one transaction and is never going to see that customer ever again. In his case, he sells a building to you and chances are he'll never have you as a customer again. So he can be much more aggressive in terms of trying to get the best deal for himself.
A businessperson, you always want to leave something on the table for the other side of the transaction because you're going to come back and try to have another transaction. And in fact, in this day and age, you can be a customer of another firm, they can be a customer of yours, you can be partners with them, you can have a lot of different relationships.
So the business world is much more complex, and you don't behave that way. And I think that explains a lot of ... his demeanor here versus other presidents or what I would do. ... That's the way I've always thought about it. Because you look at him and you say, 'Why does he do this?' That's what my conclusion is."

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 p.m. ET: 5,731,837 — Total deaths: 356,606 — Total recoveries — 2,376,542Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 p.m. ET: 1,703,989 — Total deaths: 100,651 — Total recoveries: 391,508 — Total tested: 15,192,481Map.
  3. Congress: Pelosi slams McConnell on stimulus delay — Sen. Tim Kaine and wife test positive for coronavirus antibodies.
  4. Business: U.S. GDP drop revised lower to 5% in the first quarter — 2.1 million Americans filed for unemployment last week.
  5. States: New York to allow private businesses to deny entry to customers without masks.
  6. ⚽️ Sports: English Premier League set to return June 17.
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Updated 40 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Mark Zuckerberg: Social networks should not be "the arbiter of truth"

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg argued on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Thursday that social media platforms should not police political speech, and that "people should be able to see what politicians say.”

Why it matters: Zuckerberg was responding to Twitter's decision this week to fact-check a pair of President Trump's tweets that claimed that mail-in ballots are "substantially fraudulent." Twitter's label, which directs users to "get the facts" about mail-in voting, does not censor Trump's tweets.

House Democrats pull FISA reauthorization bill

Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

House Democrats pulled legislation Thursday that would have renewed expired domestic surveillance laws and strengthened transparency and privacy protections amid broad opposition from President Trump, House GOP leadership and progressive Democrats.

Why it matters: The failure to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) comes as Trump continues to attack the intelligence community, which he claims abused the law to surveil his 2016 campaign and Trump administration officials.