Tom Barrack, a billionaire and friend of President Donald Trump for more than 30 years, expressed dissatisfaction with the commander in chief’s rhetoric, particularly when he’s fanning the flames of his national base.
Barrack told The Washington Post in a story published Wednesday, “I tell him all the time: I don’t like the rhetoric.”
“He thinks he has to be loyal to his base,” Barrack added. “I keep on saying, ‘But who is your base? You don’t have a natural base. Your base now is the world and America, so you have all these constituencies; show them who you really are.’ In my opinion, he’s better than this.”
Barrack noted that he has been able to maintain a candid and honest relationship with Trump over the years because he “was always subservient to him.” He said he has talked Trump through some of the hardest points in his life, such as divorces and the difficulties of raising children.
After Trump’s father, Fred, died, Barrack said they discussed “the weight of a hard dad, and the baton passing.”
Barrack told the Post he has seen in Trump “a kind of compassion at a very lonely level.”
And Barrack is one of the few people confident enough to tell Trump when he is wrong, despite the fact “he is very good at being told he is wrong.”
“People don’t have the courage to do it,” Barrack said. “He pushes back hard, but the people he respects the most are the people who have the most refined and not wimpy point of view.”
Still, even when Barrack has told Trump he disagrees with him, Trump hasn’t always shown his appreciation for the honesty.
“It is not always fun, and no, he doesn’t come back and say, ‘By the way, your idea was right or brilliant,'” Barrack sad.
Barrack’s unbreakable relationship with the president has turned him into a strong ally of some congressional Republicans weary of confronting Trump, such as Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt.
“I’ve talked to him about things that I’ve thought he would be a good person to talk to the president about,” Blunt told the Post. “Tom Barrack has a capacity to disagree that others might not have.”
Barrack also said he’s attempted to influence the president on policies he himself is passionate about.
He said Trump has always viewed him as “one of the few Arab American friends that he has” and that he was concerned about Trump’s controversial proposed ban on people from majority-Muslim countries travelling to the US. Barrack said he assured friends in the Middle East that they could work with Trump.
“I tell them I know him personally at a very intimate level and the truth is, his passion and his compassion and his empathy for them is true and is deep,” Barrack said.
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