Byline: Shane McNeil

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Trump deliberately tries to be underestimated: Conrad Black

Originally appeared on on May 9, 2018

Conrad Black says he thinks a lot of Donald Trump’s presidency is an act, and a very successful one at that.

“He is one of these people that deliberately appears to be outrageous in order to facilitate underestimation of him and the overreaction of others so that he can succeed more easily,” the former media magnate told Amanda Lang on Bloomberg Markets Wednesday.

“He’s very tactically astute. The fact is: He’s gone from being a joke candidate three years ago when he announced, to having practically absolute control of the Republican Party.”

Black, the former chairman of Hollinger International, spoke glowingly of the U.S. president in promoting his new book, “Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other.”

Trump’s decision Tuesday to pull the U.S. out of its nuclear pact with Iran was merely follow-through on campaign promises, according to Black.

“He’s just doing what he promised to do,” Black said. “It is true that he’s – as he’s frequently taxed with – guilty of being someone who engages in ‘truthful hyperbole’ as he calls it, which others describe less politely, but at least he’s a president who does what he said he’d do.”

“It is certainly timely to start turning the heat up on Iran [to demonstrate] that they’re going to get the same treatment as North Korea.”


Even Trump’s “America First” stance garnered praise from Black.

“He’s not a protectionist, he just wants fair trade,” Black said.

Trump’s ascendancy to power is what sets him apart from his 44 predecessors, said Black, who also previously penned biographies of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Richard Nixon.

“He went to war with the political class,” Black said. “He attacked all of it. All factions in both parties. He attacked the Bushes a much as the Clintons and Obama. He attacked the national media, Hollywood, Wall Street, all of it.”

“He said it was all rotten and he got, basically, half the votes. So, the war goes on. But, people don’t seem to recognize the momentum of this. He was a joke candidate and then he won. He was unelectable, until he was elected.”

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