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Sat Jun 15, 2019, 02:24 PM

Saving face How Donald Trump silenced the people who could expose his business failures [View all]

How did Donald Trump, a self-serving promoter who lost billions of dollars for his investors, convince the world that he is a financial genius? It wasnít just by fabricating tales of his success. It was also by bullying and silencing people who could have stopped those deceits ó particularly reporters and Wall Street analysts ó forcing all but a very few into a conspiracy of silence.

These tactics, which form a core element of his politics, were something I saw him hone firsthand in the 1980s and 1990s as Trumpís company was imploding.
(snip)
Even while he was suffering tremendous financial setbacks ó and precisely because he was suffering those setbacks ó these efforts show Trump in the desperate act of spinning a mythology about himself (rich) that would sweep aside the facts (broke). And he did it by imperiling the livelihood of his doubters, silencing them and inducing a chilling effect both in the press and among the very people who are supposed to protect investors from terrible gambles like Trumpís businesses. If this self-promotion scheme had failed, Trump would never have become a reality-TV-starring symbol of business acumen. He would have skulked off into anonymity or ignominy, just another failed real estate developer and speculator.
(snip)
His brand survived all that, and even thrived, because he wasnít just concocting tales of his greatness; he was also forcing others to repeat them, or at least not to contradict them. It was a strategy that more recently has paid off handsomely against onetime opponents like Sen. Lindsey Graham. Nobody can succeed on this scale simply by lying. Trumpís greatest and most cynical skill, honed during the 1980s and 1990s, was learning how to win by silencing truth-tellers and suppressing the truth when it matters most.
(Emphasis mine)
Washington Post


It's long, but well worth the read.

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Reply Saving face How Donald Trump silenced the people who could expose his business failures [View all]
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