Speed Reads


Trump's biggest campaign donor says the president has too many 'yes men' in the White House

Disagreeing with President Trump usually ends with someone's resignation. But Thomas Barrack, Trump's billionaire best friend and biggest campaign donor, has a problem with all the "yes men" that surround the president. And even after 30 years of friendship, he's still by Trump's side.

A profile of Barrack published Wednesday in The Washington Post breaks down the two men's relationship:

The men have struck a mutually beneficial deal. Trump solicits Barrack's advice regularly, asking how his actions are playing with the public. Barrack listens deferentially, advises Trump to change course without fear of retribution, and retains a bond that has outlasted Trump's many personal and financial crises. [The Washington Post]

Trump and Barrack met in 1987 and loosely discussed the idea of Trump running for president in the early days of their friendship. Building a wall and putting "America first" was never part of the plan, Barrack told the Post, so he was shocked when Trump called Mexicans "rapists." Barrack said he continues to ask "Oh my God, where are we going with this?" every time Trump makes another inflammatory remark.

Barrack also told the Post that Trump has called him one of his "few Arab-American friends," and said he tried to dissuade the president from instituting his infamous "Muslim ban." He's also the man who convinced Trump to hire Paul Manafort, who's now under investigation for possible collusion with Russia, to lead his presidential campaign.

And yet, Barrack hasn't gotten the pink slip like so many other Trump insiders. While it may be because Barrack isn't an official White House adviser to begin with, so he can't truly be fired, Barrack said Trump isn't as bad at taking criticism as some make him out to be.

You can read more about why Barrack's dissenting voice still has the president's ear at The Washington Post.