tv Bloomberg Businessweek Debrief A Conversation With Robert Kraft Bloomberg July 1, 2017 11:00pm-11:31pm EDT
investor tomnaire barrick has proven he can recognize promising properties. his decision to get in on the ground floor of donald trump's presidential campaign shows his instincts translate the politics. he has been a key confidant and counselor to the commander-in-chief. in an exclusive interview, i spoke with tom about the bumpy beginnings of the trump presidency. tom: his focus is i'm here to keep chipping away at the system. megan: about how he feels that trump will redefine the office. tom: the is the uber of presidents. he is the amazon of the presidents. megan: and is believed the
administration will reward the business community's confidence. tom: by saying i only care about america, the is driving global growth in a more meaningful way. megan: a conversation with tom barrack on this bloomberg businessweek debriefed. just cut to the chase from your perspective. is there a method to the madness we are seeing in washington right now? tom: no. [laughter] >> you can all go home now. tom: is there a method? first of all, the first year of any administration -- if you look what happened to president reagan, president clinton, president obama, just finding the electrical outlets are difficult. this president coming from business -- the campaign, transition, governing. governing is complicated. all of you have a p&l and a balance sheet. in my doing an ok job?
we have metrics. washington, the mantra is lay claim to victory after it is won. great politicians say i'm not setting the agenda. the agenda is established by 660,000 bureaucrats. that calibration of that agenda will find its own level. if you want to be a great politician, claim victory after it's already won. no one knows who is responsible and not responsible. this president who, by the way, is not in the best situation he has ever had. if you look at it from his point of view, he had celebrityship and power and money. he already had international
cadre of people. he knew how to get things done, but he managed by chaos. his management style was, i have so many things to get through. rather than look at a couple coffee, a cappuccino, and look to the bottom and find out where the beans came from. clicking from columbia. they were farmed organically. he looks at the foam on top and says what you think about a cappuccino and listens to you. out of that the kind of curates instinctively what he thinks is the answer. he has 150 of those a day. he is sitting in the oval office. there are 17 important agencies, 535 congressman, and 3000 appointees. he has selected 50. 25 are confirmed. when you look at the efficacy of was happening, he is sitting in the oval office and says great, executive order. you say tom, take this piece of paper and execute. you take it into the bureaucracy.
bureaucracy, there is a lieutenant. beneath undersecretaries, deputy secretaries, there is not. there are no ambassadors in place. one chinese ambassador, a guy who will do a great job. diplomacy is going slow. there is no ambassadorial station. and the white house being a clearinghouse, the white house is dictating policy. it is not working. that is a frustration. they are judging the president on the efficacy of his decisions which is not good. it is too early for that. his focus is i am here to keep chipping away at the system. the metrics of what i'm doing are not health care, not the tax bill, not building the wall, chaos in the middle east, terrorism. going to chip away at it.
it is the effective continuing to chip away at all these things over time will take its toll in a different protectionist environment, which then has a deal guy he will then curate. the paris treaty. many of us said why do this? megan: why do this only entered or when he exited? tom: why exit? you'll alienate a lot of people. megan: ceo's telling him not to do it. his own family telling them not to do it. tom: the smart political move with the take your best guy, the vice president. he is out of central casting. the best thing about a vice president is you don't need of food taster. he is loyal, dedicated, smart, and on the president's program. appoint a blue ribbon condition. take leonardo dicaprio, senator feinstein. in the meantime don't pay anything. they will come up with a conclusion.
if you listen to them it's more considered, thoughtful. he rightly says no, i'm going to contribute to climate change, but i will do it directly. i will say $3 trillion of wasted funds. he looks at the union contract. if you had a hotel and said we will slowly negotiate the transaction. we will close a hotel. come back to the table and we will talk about something else. >> nicaragua didn't think the deal was tough enough. did you think in a union contract this was like going to a collective bargaining situation and renegotiating it from the start? tom: my personal opinion is he will be successful. i don't think he needs any more drama. this man is a titanium man. it does not bother him. he thinks he was sent here to do that.
all of us are trying to figure out how you calibrate the middle east today? most presidents, if you think if we were cowards, if it were me, and i never watch tv. i have my own schedule. all have to worry about is america. 5000 miles of border. we are guarded by two oceans on either side. you have to worry about mexico and canada. every other president has gone
to canada or mexico first on their first trip. thoughtfully, with the chaos going on with radical islam and turning on a dime on a position which he is very good at doing, which is the right answer, is like investing. people have gigantic balance sheets in public companies. they have to celebrate and it has to be consistent. yet the shift. and shifting and adapting is where you make profitability. it is the same with him. he is in the market place and testing with the right answer is. he took the first trip to saudi arabia and israel, and the vatican. it was an amazing success. now we have chaos. the chaos probably is a good thing. in his analysis for someone who did not have real foreign of your expertise, was amazingly
insightful. this is an arena in which they have been warring for 4000 years. this conflict has given rise to great countries. abu dhabi has been our allies in the 1930's. qutar is the same thing. they were largest base there. saudi arabia has been giving us the resources forever. this mix of trying to get a gauge on having them govern themselves is their issue. he is allowing it to be handled in their way. it is confusing to all them. he is getting immediate reaction to a trip that people said why we go there first? thanking the solution was to solve the palestinian-israeli situation and moving the capital to jerusalem. i think is doing an amazing job in an unbelievably illegal environment.
-- unbelievably difficult environment. >> coming up, president trump's tweets get no way governing. tom barrack says -- they are a feature, not a bug. tom: it is sending shockwaves. when it is off the cuff he is doing it for reason. >> he expects trump to start filling his offices. -- pulling his policy promises. tom: the tax bill will be his greatest people hope, and it will be as bad as the naysayers think.
in washington? party refuses to change his own rules of the game? tom: my perception of it is because he wants it the way it is in other words, it's a consequence of attacking the institutions. when you attack the cia and the fbi and congress and you attack the diplomatic corps and the state department, all of bureaucracy can do is protect itself. within the white house things are actually running pretty well. all the rhetoric between jerod, he's 36, unbelievably considerate and thoughtful mind and a trusted advisor to the president. gary cohn, you couldn't have a better adult. he can run goldman sachs, the economic piece of the white house.
reince priebus knows the hardware in the plumbing of washington. steve bannon is the vicar of a philosophy, whether you agree with it or not. you can agree with it or not. megan: that's the last time you with your man and described as a buddhist monk. tom: he has a point of view. all these other things on the leaks come from management by confusion. command and control is the president. to give you an example, the president goes to i.m. pei. he says what you want me to do? i want to use your name and i will design the building. true story. he says i want you to build it. i don't really want you to build it. i need your bond and i will negotiate the drywall contract.
he has the plumber command, the electrical. today you want to the white house you are walking into -- there is no james baker. there is no differentiation between him and what is happening in all the spheres. that is how he manages. the death by a thousand leaks is a problem for every administration. on reagan it was exactly the same thing. the only tilde bureaucracy has besides budget to get back at everybody. eventually, i think will evaporate because what will happen to the president, once his troops are in place -- unless it is only 50 people, there are only 50 people. you will see mnuchin and say we
let the repatriation tax policy. steve says let me go to my battery of assistance. he has one. he is very capable and confident people, but it will take another three or four months to get that reservoir of troops. first of all, when we talk about forever trumpers, there are probably only three. jared, ivanka and melania. there was nobody at the beginning he really thought this president was going to have that she had no resources. unlike hillary or obama, who had vast resources, or even the republican side that teams of people who are governed and been in politics, available to come in to these positions, from every a great position pays $125,000 a year. you want to be punished, whips on your back? can you imagine going into the
government with everything in front of you? now we have a president under fire. 500 investigations going on and he says i have a great job. i want you to the assistant secretary. give up your $1 million your salary. i will give you $119,000 year. there are 17 press interviews. at the end of the day here you are. very difficult. they are doing a great job of filing the restoreth base. once that gets blinded, we get to the terms of congress. there is no congressional bandwidth. you can't have another. defeat when you look at what congress will get done between now and the time to go home, you can't enter one more piece of paper. this consensus in this conciliation, they are learning on the job had a government. it takes a compromise on all of these things the same time is
doing what he's doing for his base. i think was happening is the president is looking and saying my base is all of america. it is not the trumpsters, the forever trumpsters, is the american people. he is changing his points of view on things. they are softening on some things. he is very focused on some of the ardent things. the tweeting makes everybody crazy. right? megan: i will give you a quote you said about that. just last month. you told erik schatzker his tweets should not be taken as off-the-cuff. he has thought through them more than people think. the still believe that? tom: absolutely. it is like, he is the uber of the president's. he is the amazon of the presidency. as good as bloomberg is, as good as cable tv is, social media is a form of communication which adult in his level in my level have not had use in their careers. he has found a new way of communicating which is unsettling. presidents usually have this cadence in this political balance of never saying
anything. say something beautiful, everyone will not. everyone will say that was so politically voiced it means nothing. this president is sending shockwaves. it is not off-the-cuff. when it's off-the-cuff he is doing it for a reason. megan: is a recommended to a criticism of the mayor of london in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attack? tom: look, if it were me, again, why do it? there is no gain in doing it. what is he do it? he goes it is how he feels.
he is communicating to the world i will tell you. you can like it or not but i will tell you how i feel. it is part of what you get with the man. he is not politically correct. megan:, tom barrack tells me what he believes trump's america first agenda will succeed, and why is good for the entire world. tom: america is the best spot in the world for the preservation of capital from everywhere. i think his protectionist notion is the best global elixir we can have. ♪
opinion in history and steve mnuchin. he is focused. he is so smart, so intent, and his team within the treasury admire him. not for his political ability, quiver his brains and his tenor. it is the congressional battle of how you solidify issues and get some accessible on both sides of the file through quickly? it is low hanging fruit for everybody. i am most encouraged by a workable and usable tax bill as i am for everything. everybody wins. everyone will win. health care is much more complicated. i am optimistic about a workable
tax bill. it won't be as great as people hope. it will not be as bad as the naysayers think. mnuchin and gary cohn and the congress has to get there. this congress has to do something. in a business sense, optimism, hope, boldness. when you look at why the stock market is doing what is doing, it is driven by five stocks. all we have to do is invest in google, amazon. that is the market cap of the entire world. but transparency, optimism, capital at a time when the rest of the world isn't sovereign wealth, central-bank warfare. the reason is getting better is that central banks have become the governor's dejour. 10 years ago no one cared who was the central banker in any of these countries. even in our country. it was a boring job. now dictates tastes. when you look. we're almost in the 10th year. everyone was to fix interest rates. all of the are sitting here
saying they are starting to drift from 5% to 4%. i'm going to lock. i'm just going to lock wages rates in go fish. in the last 15 years you would have been wrong. an amazing phenomena. everything is getting cheaper. everything is getting intermediated. in five years we will have driverless cars. the effect on the world will change tremendously. office buildings will become obsolete. when you have the same market cap is boston properties and doesn't own a brick or stick, get amazon is putting shopping centers out of business and turning into an entertainment center. you have netflix, which was a flash in the plan. blockbuster video, which was
worth $5 billion and netflix was zero. blockbuster video is bankrupt and netflix is worth the market cap of all the major studios combined. who can figure out where the world is going? and america is the best spot in the world for preservation of capital from everywhere. i think this protectionist notion that the president has is the best global elixir we can have. what he is doing by saying i only care about america is driving global growth in a more meaningful way. has the best team in the world. rex tillerso wilr general mcma, general mattis, steve mnuchin, gary cohn. probably the best cabinet that has been formed in the last 20 years. megan: you are looking at the administration, with great would you give it? so far?
tom: look, i would not give it a grade yet. if you look at metrics, if there a health bill, tax bill, no. we have put a lot of chips and of things and are doing a great job, but it's too early to bring the report card in. i would give an 'a'for what they intended to do was to come in and turn things upside down. you can't live with status quo. i would take a sabbatical from the grades. look at it in a year as we approach the midterm and give him a chance. it is too early to evaluate it. megan: at yale, the only 'a' you need -- thank you ver much. ♪
♪ david: what would you say this skill set was you brought, great intellect, great drive, great leadership? phil: all of that. david: let's talk about golf. phil: tiger woods, you could see coming from way back. david: michael jordan, if i wore those shoes -- phil: you might. david: when you give a $400 million gift, you write a check? is it hard to do that? phil: yes. -- >> would you fix your tie, please? david: well, people wouldn't recognize me if my tie was fixed, but ok.