Donald Trump doesn't have many specific proposals for what he would accomplish as president, but the few things he has proposed share a common ignition: negotiations.
The problem with the Iran deal? Bad negotiation. How's he going to get Mexico to pay for the giant wall he wants to build on the border? "The art of negotiating." China taking our jobs? Negotiate them back. Catching El Chapo? We bet you can guess.
"I know the smartest negotiators in the world," Trump said during his campaign kick-off. "I know the good ones. I know the bad ones. I know the overrated ones." He later added : "Believe me, folks. We will do very, very well. Very, very well."
When the Daily Beast called Donald Trump's office for comment on a story they were reporting, detailing long-past allegations from ex-wife Ivana that Trump had assaulted her, Michael Cohen got on the phone. Cohen serves as counsel to Trump and is an executive vice president at the Trump Organization. Our colleague Erik Wemple outlined a slew of recent occasions when Cohen appeared on TV to make the case for his boss. If anyone is a negotiator for Trump, it's Cohen. Given his role as special counsel, you'd figure he's among Trump's top negotiators.
So how did his negotiation with the Daily Beast go? Horribly.
First, Cohen made comments about rape that were both offensive and easily disproven. And then, as he attempted to get the story killed, he lost it.
"I will make sure that you and I meet one day while we’re in the courthouse," he told the site's Tim Mak and Brandy Zadrozny. "And I will take you for every penny you still don’t have. And I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know. So I’m warning you, tread very [ducking] lightly, because what I’m going to do to you is going to be [ducking] disgusting. You understand me?"
The Daily Beast ran the story. And what made the story dominate the Internet wasn't the two-decade-old allegations; those weren't news. It was the two-day-old "negotiation."
Clearly Trump has people working for him who are able to get good business deals. You don't get to be worth
$10 billion $3 billion if you don't have some business chops. But if your answer to every question is that you will outsmart your opponent, it isn't terribly helpful to have your own team do something so foolish.
And we somehow doubt that Iran/China/Mexico/El Chapo are terribly worried about lawsuits.