By now some of you have seen a video of the prayer session with Donald Trump. As a rule I don’t like publicizing my meetings with leaders and don’t share details that could in any way embarrass them or empower their enemies. Billy Graham made that mistake as a young Evangelist after meeting with President Truman. He spoke with reporters on the White House lawn after his first meeting…and was never invited back again.
I admire Trump for being willing to host the encounter and for not being ashamed of prayer, the Bible or his affiliation with Christians (and he also had great sandwiches.)
Our meeting was in the boardroom on the 26th floor. Trump Towers is quite a grand facility. A journalist from Rolling Stone described it as an impressive architectural marvel whose entrance looks like a combination Cathedral and Las Vegas Casino. Couldn’t describe it better myself.
DONALD’S “PC” GIFT TO AMERICA
Whether he wins the Republican nomination or not one thing is sure, “Trump is Heavens Miley Cyrus wrecking ball to the spirit of Political Correctness.” (You can quote me on that one.)
He has single handedly shaken up the establishment media and political elite – the people sitting at the gates of influence who thought they had the undisputed power to prop one up or take down another. Much to their collective horror he has proven to be impervious to their bullets. Even more so, with each blow his base solidifies. Trump, like no other personality in 20 years has shaken the establishment up and exposed them for the elitists’ they are. Their condescension and indifference to the fears and frustrations of the plebian masses so far removed from their enlightened L.A. or D.C. or N.Y. perch is no longer unchallenged. The common folk, the hobbits in the Shire, who work hard and pay taxes and voted in two sweeping elections will no longer be ignored.
This is one form of anticipated “shaking” in America that we should celebrate regardless of who your favorite candidate is.
MY FIRST IMPRESSION
Regarding Trump, you don’t notice it on TV but he is a big guy, and I don’t just mean in terms of personality. He is physically tall – at 6ft 3 inches. Add heals and hair and its more like 6 ft.4.
His personal style is less bombastic than his platform and interviewing style. He was gracious, non confrontational and surprisingly open to “give and take.” For instance, here is one exchange that could have been tense. A Messianic Rabbi sitting near me said, “Your comments don’t always represent you in the best light. People want to know you have a Presidential temperament. They want to know that you are a person they can trust with a finger on a nuclear button.” Trump perched his lips in characteristic fashion, nodded thoughtfully and said, “I hear you.”
The conversation turned to some of the more heated moments if the campaign. Trump explained, “You know, people aren’t aware of what is coming at me…what I am responding to. Rush Limbaugh calls it “incoming.” Like the storm that broke out when I took a stand on immigration. It can get pretty vicious. You don’t always know the back-story. And so many of these guys are nice and then suddenly they are on the attack, probably because of polling numbers. I can say this…I never punch indiscriminately. I’m a counter puncher. If you get hit and do nothing it sends the wrong message… but I fully hear what you are saying. I know where you’re coming from.”
Several of us exchanged glances and nodded. This was the best answer possible. There was no denial and no need to drill deeper on the subject. Equally, there were no flippant or disingenuous comments to appease the group.
One African American Bishop, Darrell Scott, spoke up, “I wouldn’t change a thing. Be you and keep being consistent. That’s what people like about you. You’re not playing politics.” Trump looked around the boardroom table and laughed. “So you’re saying, ‘don’t change?’ That’s interesting.” “Right! People would see you not being who you are and that will look fake.” I see this as a new breed of outspoken courageous leadership being raised up.
A DIFFERENT SORT OF CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCE
Around this time I got the feeling that Trump was meeting a different sort of Evangelical group than the one he met so far on the campaign trail, say, in Iowa. And he was enjoying the new sampling of Evangelicals he was getting exposed to.
You get the impression that he takes in information quickly and objectively but filters it equally fast to distinguish one idea from another. It’s an executive skill I’ve noticed in Super Achievers in whatever field I meet them. They are avid learners but have a built in filter that winnows out solid ideas from the superficial. He is an equally quick judge of people. As people spoke he was reading them and weighing their power in the group.
In one poignant moment the room erupted in applause. Here is what happened. A discussion commenced about the African American community of churches. Bishop Clarence McClendon shared something that moved Trump. “In my church we don’t preach a message based on grievances and handouts. We believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ proclaims a Kingdom that has the ultimate power to lift any individual right out of the most impoverished circumstances. Gods Word can empower anyone with the wisdom and ability to rise above any obstacle and make it!”
Trump said, “Wow!” as the room erupted in spontaneous “amen’s” and applause.
IS DONALD A “SHOOT FROM THE HIP” SHALLOW THINKER?
While he is someone who ultimately forms his own opinions he does not do so in a vacuum. He likes hearing from expert sources that feed him first hand information. He told us that he developed his ideas about the issue of immigration by talking to front line security experts. He has little interest in pencil pushing consultants. In his youth he travelled with his father to the actual building sites and later worked with construction people directly. He has more confidence in experienced real world practitioners than Ivy League theorists. This is a classic businessman’s approach to gauging reality.
COMMENTS ABOUT SYRIAN REFUGEES…
This week you’ve no doubt heard his unpopular statements about returning Syrian refugees? WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW is that He was personally debriefed by a high level Syrian security screener. In this mans experience President Obama made it almost impossible for Syrian Christians to escape Syria but put Muslim immigrants on a fast track. That may be changing recently. If you find that information disturbing you don’t know the half of the behind the scene stories on how this President has been unsympathetic to the persecutions of Christians yet favorable to the interests of Islam. Trump is concerned, however, saying: “It makes you wonder about who exactly has been getting into the United States over the past several years?” In 1960, there were about 200,000 Muslims in the U.S., according to a study in the International Journal of Environmental Science and Development. Today, the U.S. census estimates that there are more than 6 million Muslims here. Christians fleeing ISIS were not an Obama priority. Trump suspects that militants and extremists are numbered among them…along with some of the front men for setting up gang operated drug distribution for Mexican and South American Cartels. Again, this isn’t paranoid posturing by a man removed from the facts – it is the feedback from front line law enforcement given to him in private. He is an information hound.
THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH
One of the Pastors spoke: “I came here with an open mind. To my way of thinking there are three branches of government: Legislative, Executive and Judicial. You are clearly gifted for the Executive Branch. That’s what you do.” Trump responded, “Thank you for that. You know, in Real Estate, everybody likes renderings of buildings, you know what they are?” Trump asks and explained, “They are the elaborate sketches of the building. I’m not big on renderings, I like to see a photo of the finished project.” Trump if nothing else, is a decision maker with a built in bias toward action.
“We can cut so much waste in Government. So many duplicated agencies at the State and Federal level. It’s ridiculous.” I could see Trump the CEO speaking. I remember once hearing him slip – “I can make this Company great again…I mean Country.” It was a curious Freudian moment. He continued, “We can recapture so much income. This is what I’m good at. The U.S. trade deficit with China in is $400 billion, Japan, $70 billion, Mexico $50 billion. It’s ridiculous.”
I’m more attuned to the economics and business crisis that is looming, so this line of thought interested me. Here is the real “Harbinger” Jonathan Cahn is talking about. This is the ticking time bomb as dangerous as Iran with a nuclear missile. We have an economy going over a cliff and drunken Liberals scheming like Socialists behind the wheel. I wanted to weigh in but this was not the area most of the ministries were focused on so I waited.
A PROPHETIC BUSINESSMAN
I think great entrepreneurs tend to be Prophetic. Think of Steve Jobs. This will surprise some, but Trump is more Prophetic than most people realize. Repeatedly he said, “Leadership is all about seeing the future and not listening to the short sighted thinker. This is the kind of leadership we need to turn this country around – and fast.” Over and over again he has said and written – “Leadership is about seeing the future.” He is Churchillian in this regard. He see’s the threat nobody else has courage to talk about…till it’s too late. He see’s it with radical Islam, he see’s it with the soaring 18 trillion dollar debt and he see’s it in America’s tinderbox of the inner city. “There are more Fergusson’s and Baltimore’s out there,” he warned us.
WOMEN IN THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION
I dug around a bit and asked one of his top advisors some questions about Trumps business and some facts about female employees. To my surprise I was told that Trump has currently 43-46% of his key positions occupied by women, (higher than the national average) and they are paid significantly higher than the national average for women in those roles!
HE BRAGS ABOUT HIS COMPANY – WHAT ABOUT HIS COMPANY CULTURE?
This was an astounding discovery. Of his 800 employees (I assume this applies to the Trump Towers and Trump enterprises located in NYC) the retention and turn over rate beats all national averages. I was told, “These people don’t view Mr. Trump as a scary CEO or remote personality. They have a distinctive loyalty to the man.” Struggling to find the word, my high level source told me, “they are more like a…” I said “family?” He said, “yeah.” Trump is like a Patriarch not an Ivy tower executive figure.” Again, I was surprised.
I’ve been asked: “IS DONALD TRUMP A PLANT FROM THE DEMOCRATS TO DIVIDE THE PARTY OR GET CLINTON ELECTED?”
Whatever he does he does to win. WINNING is part of his core value system. Trump is like George Patton. He hates losing. He thinks it’s un-American. As long as he’s fighting on the American side you can bet he’s fighting to win the war and distinguish himself as a great General. Anyone suspecting otherwise does not know Donald. The last thing he will ever do is to pour his assets, time and energy into running a race with the outcome of losing it. Getting Clinton elected is not only the furthest thing from his mind, it is a formula he thinks likely to fiscally ruin America. Trump will never do anything, including a third party; if there is any likelihood it will diminish the Trump brand.
This update is long enough…in the next post I will share:
1. “Thoughts on TRUMP and BEN CARSON?”
2. “IS TRUMP A CHRISTIAN?”
3. “WHAT IS GOD’S PROPHETIC PURPOSE FOR DONALD TRUMP?”
Is what I am writing making sense?
Helping you get a feel for the meeting, the man and the Nation?