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August 27, 2020

The REAL Donald Trump

“He is generous and kind with every individual in his midst, no matter what their walk in life.”

In March of 2016, I was a Cruz/Rubio supporter, and for all the right reasons. But after eight long years of Barack Obama, a populist emerged above those proven conservatives — Donald Trump. Most of my Trump analysis prior to that point was focused on presidential character. Arguably, Trump’s “New York brazen braggadocious style” did not match that high standard.

In May of 2016, when it became apparent Trump was going to be the Republican nominee, I asked a longtime and trusted friend in New York City: What do I need to know about this guy? My friend had, for years, managed personal security details for Trump before the Secret Service took over.

His response: “Mark, our people are with Mr. Trump 24/7, anytime he is outside of his office or private residence. I can tell you that he is generous and kind with every individual in his midst, no matter what their walk in life, their station, and he is loved and respected by those who work for him. His relationship with people at the individual level is totally opposite his public media persona.”

That was the first of many similar insights I gained about another side of President Trump from those who had regular personal contact with him. Some of those insights were off the record from friends like former Senator Bob Corker, who had an adversarial relationship with Trump, but who told me personally about his warmth and accommodation of others on an individual level.

In July of 2016, there was nothing not to like about Trump’s convention remarks, which I characterized then as “the broadest and most populist party convention speech in presidential candidate history.” He earned my endorsement, and it soon became apparent that Trump’s plans for his presidency looked like a Ronald Reagan revival.

As it turned out, Trump’s New York brazen braggadocious style, the public persona “qualities” that form the complex mosaic of who Donald Trump is, were and remain precisely what was needed to Make America Great Again. As I wrote shortly after President Trump took office in 2017: “The day he arrived in DC, he dropped a bomb on the status quo in Congress and its special interests. He dropped a bomb on the regulatory behemoths and their bureaucratic bottlenecks. He dropped a bomb on the trade and national security institutions and alliances that failed miserably over the previous eight years. And he dropped a bomb on all the pundits and mainstream media outlets.”

Those were bombs that needed to be dropped! Nevertheless, I continue to take exception with some of his very public personal attacks on social media, particularly when it is fratricidal fire against people of good character who have loyally served him well. Arguably, those stupid distractions have done more harm than good. If only his social media posts would also reflect more of who he really is — the generous and kind side of DT.

So, who is the REAL Donald Trump?

That brings me back to Herschel Walker’s comments Monday night, when he described precisely the Donald Trump that his former security detailer described to me back in 2016. If you didn’t watch it earlier, take three minutes and watch it now!

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