Donald Trump's fake-it-until-you-make-it strategy on North Korea - CNNPolitics


Jun 13, 2018 2:35 PM - 4 days, 16 hours, 36 minutes, 38 seconds ago


Donald Trump's fake-it-until-you-make-it strategy on North Korea

Updated 2:35 PM ET, Wed June 13, 2018

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(CNN)Donald Trump has ended the nuclear threat from North Korea!

According to Donald Trump, that is.

"Just landed - a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office," Trump tweeted. "There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea. Meeting with Kim Jong Un was an interesting and very positive experience. North Korea has great potential for the future!" He followed that one up with this: "Before taking office people were assuming that we were going to War with North Korea. President Obama said that North Korea was our biggest and most dangerous problem. No longer - sleep well tonight!""

Sounds good! Problem solved! Nailed it! 10 out of 10!

Wait, what's that you say? There are no concrete promises about North Korea's de-nuclearization plans in the future? And North Korea has reneged on two past agreements -- in 1994 and 2005 -- not dissimilar to this one?

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Actually, not "hmmm."

This fake-it-until-you-make-it strategy is pure Trump. And not just in politics: It's a defining element of his life.

There's a moment in the 2016 "Frontline" documentary on Trump and Hillary Clinton -- a must-watch if you haven't already -- in which a former associate of Trump is describing how the real estate magnate handled bad news and bad deals. Paraphrasing, the associate said: "He'll just declare victory and move on. It's what he does."

That approach to life is how Trump has weathered -- and even prospered! -- amid three bankruptcies and as many marriages. He acts like he won, like he knew this was happening all along, like he meant it to happen. He creates a reality that may, but often does not, comport with actual reality, and then sells that created reality as hard as he possibly can.

The narrative Trump is always selling -- regardless of whether he is flacking some deal he made as a private citizen or talking up the Singapore summit -- is of total victory. And not just that, but victory that others couldn't achieve. Historic victories. The biggest. Record-setting.

Trump's "Art of the Deal" is a testament to this idea. And this quote from that book really stands out:

"The final key to the way I promote is bravado. I play to people's fantasies. People may not always think big themselves, but they can still get very excited by those who do. That's why a little hyperbole never hurts. People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular. I call it truthful hyperbole. It's an innocent form of exaggeration, and a very effective form of promotion."

Trump himself ...

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