Tom Barrack said he often confronts his longtime friend, President Donald Trump, on many of his actions.
The businessman had been instrumental in forming relationships between Trump and leaders in the Persian Gulf, but the sentiment changed when Trump publicly attacked Qatar on June 10. Trump said Qatar was a “funder of terrorism at a very high level” at a news conference, the Washington Post reported.
Colony NorthStar’s chairman reportedly said to Trump, “You don’t need to get involved,” at the time. He’s also disagreed with many of the president’s proposals, wondering why he devotes so much time to topics that don’t concern most Americans.
“He thinks he has to be loyal to his base,” Barrack told the Post. “In my opinion, he’s better than this. I tell him all the time: I don’t like the rhetoric.” He also said he’s often “shocked” and “stunned” by the president’s 140-character, provocative statements.
The two billionaires have a relationship that dates back three decades. Barrack, who publicly backed Trump’s campaign for presidency, turned down a formal role in the administration in favor of remaining a close confidant on the periphery.
The L.A. native believes Trump suffers by having too many subservient people in his orbit, afraid to contradict one of the world’s most powerful men.
“He is very good at being told he is wrong,” Barrack told the Post. “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.”
The president, Barrack said, sometimes tells him: ““I love you, but if I listened to you, I’d still be on ‘The Apprentice.’” [WP] – Natalie Hoberman