All the Pres­i­dent’s yes men are hurt­ing him, friend says

The Australian - - WORLD -

WASH­ING­TON: A close con­fi­dant of Don­ald Trump de­liv­ered a rare public re­buke yes­ter­day, say­ing the Pres­i­dent had sur­rounded him­self with “yes men” and urg­ing him to split from his na­tion­al­ist base.

Tom Bar­rack, 70, a bil­lion­aire prop­erty mogul who turned down a cab­i­net po­si­tion, is con­sid­ered one of the few peo­ple Mr Trump re­gards as a peer.

Mr Bar­rack said he was be­wil­dered by Mr Trump’s fo­cus on con­tentious is­sues such as the Mus­lim travel ban and a wall along the Mex­i­can bor­der.

“He thinks he has to be loyal to his base,” Mr Bar­rack told The Wash­ing­ton Post. “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.”

Mr Bar­rack has known Mr Trump since the 1980s. He raised funds for his cam­paign and was men­tioned as a pos­si­ble White House chief of staff.

He said yes­ter­day he had been shocked by Mr Trump’s in­cen­di­ary tweets. “I tell him all the time, ‘I don’t like the rhetoric’,” Mr Bar­rack said.

He added Mr Trump was sur­rounded by too many “yes men”. “He is very good at be­ing told he is wrong,” he said.

“Peo­ple don’t have the courage to do it. 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.”

Mr Bar­rack said the two had “a great per­sonal friend­ship”, adding: “Our lives went along the same ca­dence. We both got di­vorced, we both had kids the same age, we both got re­mar­ried, and we did dif­fer­ent deals to­gether.”

Asked how their friend­ship had sur­vived, Mr Bar­rack said: “Here’s what I think the an­swer is: I’ve never needed any­thing from him ... I was al­ways sub­servient to him.”

Tom Bar­rack

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