The best advice Donald Trump could get...

The best advice Donald Trump could get to improve his credibility; 10 “simple” actions


Perhaps Ivanka is the best person to get him to accept and act on this advice. But would he? Should he? Could he?


Some would say one’s personal credibility is everything, and every time the President strays from the teleprompter, his credibility takes a hit. Of course, it‘s also happened when he’s reading from it … and whenever Sean or Kellyanne try to defend him … or he recommends incompetents for Cabinet posts … and when he …sorry, I digress. Forget about trying to act more Presidential (yes, it would be easy if he wanted to). But in order for him to be more credible and, more importantly, undermine the arguments of those who continually question his facts and his motives, he should immediately execute the following 10-point plan. (OK Ivanka, you’re on.)


Dear Daddy,


You know I’m always pushing you to do the right thing. I think you should do the following “right” things so people (especially those who don’t support you now) will believe in you like I do.


  1. Instruct your lawyers and accountants to get your tax audit completed ASAP so you can keep your promise to share your tax returns with the American people. (Do this within the first 100 days or at least prior to removing Russian sanctions.)
  2. Dispose of all personal assets that may create or even give the impression of a conflict of interest and put the remaining assets in a blind trust — thus alleviating any concerns that you will enrich yourself or our family during your presidency. (The boys are smart and can find something else to do.)
  3. Reaffirm your support for the intelligence agencies working in concert to fully investigate the possibility of any ties between you, our family or your campaign and Putin, Russia, or extensions thereof. (Anyway, Secretary Sessions has your back.)
  4. Be the adult in the room including, but not limited to, keeping your ego and thin-skin in check so you can better respond to the concerns of others. Demonstrate a sincere attempt to understand, and then offer a thoughtful, intelligent response. (You could use a teleprompter for the intelligent response.)
  5. Don’t surround yourself with conspiracy theorists, or at least, don’t put them in positions of power, especially in deference to those with more experience, objectivity, and the ability to foresee unintended consequences. (I know that may lead to a few more departures.)
  6. Reinforce through your actions an appreciation for, and defense of, the 1st Amendment and the right to dissent. If you choose to respond (and please think twice if the celebrity is more popular than you), avoid calling anyone with an opposing view a derogatory name. (And stop ending tweets with “Sad!”)
  7. Don’t interfere with the obligation of patriots, including agency officials, to speak the truth (i.e. climate change, Russian intervention, etc.) even if it conflicts with your political agenda. Recognize sometimes there are no alternative facts — just fact-based truths. (By the way, “I heard it somewhere” screams “fact-checkers, have at it!”)
  8. Quit saying the mainstream media is “the enemy of the American people”. It doesn’t work for you accuse them of under-reporting terrorist attacks that never happened. And every question isn’t politically motivated or intended to be a gotcha. (Sometimes, even I could use an explanation of why you did what you did.)
  9. Don’t take credit for things that didn’t happen, that happened before you were elected, or that you didn’t personally cause to happen — you know, like job increases already announced. Even though your staunchest supporters want to believe you only tell the truth, they know the difference. (Well, at least Republican Senators and Congressmen probably do.)
  10. Instruct your spokespeople to only ever tell the truth, even when they’re challenged to interpret or defend an executive order or something offensive you’ve said or done. Have them always answer the questions asked because their credibility is your credibility. (Actually, this takes care of itself if you do the other 9 things.)


I hope this helps. You know I only have your best interest in mind — and that of the country, of course.


Love you!



George N Romey Added Mar 27, 2017 - 8:32am
Harper Trump is proving to be his own worst enemy.  In his mind he pulled off the impossible winning the election and sees no reason to change his approach.  Maybe after the defeat of his healthcare bill he will but I'd doubt it.  It would changing 70 years of who he is.
Bill H. Added Mar 27, 2017 - 11:34am
Good article, Harper.
Remember that we are dealing with a classic narcissist, and many of these traits are deeply embedded and most likely unalterable at this point in his life.
It does appear that Ivanka is the only level-headed member of his immediate family, and hopefully she has some influence on Donald. As we have seen in the past, it appears that both Donald Jr. and appear to have inherited Donald's narcissism genes.
George, I have said all along that Trump really did not expect to become President and simply required and craved the publicity and attention he received during the campaign.
Harper Thorpe Added Mar 27, 2017 - 1:41pm
George - Today, everything we're hearing from Trump supporters suggests the great negotiator's healthcare bill wasn't defeated, Ryan's was. I'm sure this is consistent with messages circulating in the Trump bubble. I, too, don't think he will change and hasn't since his parents sent him away to military school.
Harper Thorpe Added Mar 27, 2017 - 1:56pm
Thanks, Bill. I'm not sure about Ivanka's level head or her motives because she actively participated in Trump Org real estate deals that led to fraud accusations and eventual settlements, i.e. Trump Soho. At least with Trump's perpetual scowl, you're prepared for what's coming. Notwithstanding Ivanka's beauty and Jared's dimples, I think it makes sense to stay on guard.
Dino Manalis Added Mar 27, 2017 - 2:58pm
Trump should be less controversial and more unifying, don't blame anyone except himself for lack of experience.  He has to work with everyone in a bipartisan manner to achieve significant legislation.  It's necessary to keep the legislation as simple and straightforward as possible.
Micahel Dolan Added Mar 27, 2017 - 3:09pm
President Trump in four months as president has done more to better America than Hussein Obama had done in eight years.
Similar to what Obama did for Cuba-Iran-Islam. The life-long politician fear Trump want no part of him. The same type politicians tried to do this with RR,they wanted  to defeat RR run for president.
Donald Trump did more for America as a citizen than our politicians. I love the fraud-corrupt angle, from people who supported a huge corrupt liar-Hillary Clinton. Trump will not give up- Period.
Harper Thorpe Added Mar 27, 2017 - 4:43pm
Dino, thanks for your input. I agree with your basic assertion (which I'll only restate slightly), Trump is going to have to cultivate broader appeal for what he wants to accomplish (or sell). The intention of my article was to point out what's obvious to most sales people, which is you have to establish and cultivate your personal credibility to get anyone to take you seriously - let alone buy from you. In my opinion, Trump has disadvantaged himself by creating suspicions about his motives, taking liberties with the truth, and demonstrating a predisposition to conspiracy theories.
Harper Thorpe Added Mar 27, 2017 - 4:59pm
Michael. I'm not sure you were looking for a response, but I'll just say my if Trump wanted my advice (and I'm not waiting for his call), I would suggest a couple things: (1) Casting dispersions in the direction of others - predecessors, political opponents, or Santa simply anyone who disagrees with you - may drag them down but doesn't build you up, and (2) Be able to argue the details of what you're proposing rather than expecting you'll get the votes you need just because you're POTUS.
Bill Kamps Added Mar 28, 2017 - 9:25am
Trump didnt have a health care bill, Ryan did, because Trump doesnt understand policy.  That is part of the problem.  He doesnt understand how to fashion policy such that he gets a majority vote in Congress.  Putting out a bill that takes three from column A, and four from column  B, means no one will really like and fight for the bill.
He also appears to change his mind frequently, on the policies he supports.  This undermines people who are inclined to fight for his legislation. 
Getting legislation through Congress is a bit of an art.  You have to have elements of policy that will attract enough votes, or you have to have a majority caucus that will stand with you.  Sometimes that majority caucus is all from one party, and sometimes not.  However, it looks as though Trump never has given any thought to who is his majority caucus in Congress.   His policies are too moderate to attract all the GOP members, and he has made no effort to appeal to Democrats.  So even though the GOP has a majority in Congress, Trump does not have a governing majority for his policies.
If he doesnt fix that, he could do all ten things you suggest, but he still wont get legislation passed.
Harper Thorpe Added Mar 28, 2017 - 4:40pm
Bill Kamps, I agree with the points you make, including how they relate to the "credibility" points I was trying to make. Irrespective of whether one is inclined to agree (or not) with what Trump is trying to accomplish, his credibility is not good with anyone who doesn't get all their news from Trump tweets, which too often require significant clean-up from Trump surrogates. To be told we can't take the president literally is ludicrous and telegraphs we should all be wary of anything he says.
When this leads to an adverse impact on the credibility of Trump supporters in the Senate, Congress, his Cabinet, and ordained spokespeople, Trump's agenda is in trouble. Too often, these supporters are called upon to convince us Trump can't have conflicts because there's not a law against it, his frailties are really virtues, and his losses are really wins. People who want what's best for the country (whether registered as Democrat or Republican), who use a range of media sources to gather information, and who are inclined to make fact-based decisions, are not going to buy-in to a bizzaro world.
wsucram15 Added Mar 28, 2017 - 8:46pm
Ahhhh appearance is everything, you know perception. For example, while people are arguing with Trump and Republicans over even having healthcare, Ivanka has her clothing/ shoes made in China (in Huajian). But the trails stops there. Doing research on her company literally stops after the first 100,000 pairs of shoes. Yeah that "Ivanka Trump’s #womenwhowork motto"  is horse crap.  Just like dear ol Dad..
Dont count on her to do anything she wasnt taught to do.  Take money from a rich guy (well actually his daddy) and work with some sleazy people to get things done, but make them look really good.
Harper Thorpe Added Mar 28, 2017 - 10:13pm
wsuscram15: You seized on the deliberate irony in my article. Another asked me, "Is it your purpose to help Trump by giving him this advice?" I responded that while I do think I offered (using Ivanka's "trusted" voice) excellent advice, I also think the probability of Ivanka relaying it and the Donald accepting/acting on it is slim and none. As you also point out, Donald's and Ivanka's credibility on various topics - especially "Buy American and hire American" - is viewed as disingenuous at best because they've decided their own business interests are best served by going offshore.
Bill Kamps Added Mar 29, 2017 - 12:35pm
Harper,  its been a long time since we had a President who never worked in politics before becoming President.  People say we have had businessmen as Presidents in the past, and we have, Jimmy Carter was one.  But JC was a governor before becoming President, so he had experience in politics.  People say, well the government should be run like a business, but that is not possible, in a business the CEO is much more of a dictator than our  President is allowed to be.  How many CEO's cant really spend any  of the company's money ?
People said Trump would become a dictator, well maybe he would like to be one, but the Constitution wont allow it.  Unlike places like Turkey and Venezuela, our Constitution doesnt allow the chief executive to change the Constitution.
So we are left with Trump having to use his powers of persuasion to get things done in Congress.  Something he never had to do before in his career.   Now it is possible he could get surrogates to set his policy, and try to garner votes in Congress.  That MIGHT work, if Trump's policies would align with significant voting blocks in Congress, but they dont, because he didnt create his policy priorities with an eye towards getting them passed in Congress.  He set them based on what he likes.   He is not aligned with the GOP and he is not aligned with the Democrats, he has some elements of policy from each side, this is only a prescription for success with someone adept at pulling together a working majority, as Reagan and Clinton were, given their political abilities.   Trump has no where close their abilities and bi-partisan support is more difficult  these days, than 20-30 years ago.
As you say, Trump's tweets, and his sarcastic remarks undermine his credibility.  People in Congress are not going to risk their political capital when Trump might change his mind and pull the rug out from under them, or attack them personally.  When Trump speaks in contradictory terms, he confuses people, and confused people are not going to vote for his legislation.
Barring a serious change in his strategy, I dont see much legislative success for Trump.  If he continues to try to govern with executive orders alone, they will be challenged more often and more effectively.  There is a limit to what one can do with those, and it will be more contentious as he tries to use them more.
Harper Thorpe Added Mar 29, 2017 - 1:48pm
Bill Kamps, I'm enjoying the conversation, and thank you for engaging. We're in sync; so I'll pick-up where you were concluding - Trump's strategy. Based on how he reacts to random stimuli in a ready-fire-aim manner,  I'm not sure Trump has a strategy and, instead, is prone to news-grabbing tactics that don't adhere to a master plan. It's especially worrisome that many of his tweeted accusations have been correlated to, and immediately follow, fact-less assertions made by O'Reilly, Hannity, Judges Napolitano and Pirro, and Fox & Friends.  And relating this to the executive orders you mentioned, many are beginning to question whether these are Trump's attempt at governing, or he's under the influence of others (Bannon?) who are really leading the charge and executing their strategy. 
Mike Haluska Added Mar 29, 2017 - 2:40pm
Considering the "batting average" of Trump critics hovers near ZERO, I think the people making the endless wrong forecasts of his imminent doom, scandal and crisis ought to be the ones seeking advice.  Think Trump was "wrong/lying" about the Obama Administration collecting surveillance on him and his staff?  Here is one of Obama's top advisors on MSNBC (NOT Fox News) admitting to Mika Bryzinski that they were actively gathering intel on Trump and his staff and that they SPREAD IT LIKE MANURE just before leaving office to make it difficult to detect/stop/find leaks!!! 
Mike Haluska Added Mar 29, 2017 - 2:44pm
Bill K - your comment:
"As you say, Trump's tweets, and his sarcastic remarks undermine his credibility."
is incorrect.  Tweets and remarks that turn out to be factually incorrect harm credibility.  Trump has repeatedly made the mainstream media and the Democrats look like fools because his "outrageous" claims always end up being true - for instance:
Mike Haluska Added Mar 29, 2017 - 2:54pm
So my "progressive" friends (they can't call themselves that and claim that I am "insulting" them by doing the same - at least where people practice rational thought) - where is the "outrage" over the federal government and the Obama Administration collecting surveillance on a PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL with the hopes of smearing him and yes . . . altering the outcome of a national election????
If you still don't get what's going on, look up the word "hypocrite" in the dictionary.
Harper Thorpe Added Mar 29, 2017 - 4:02pm
Mike, We may have heard what Evelyn Farkas said a bit differently. I heard 3 things: (1) We have lots of intelligence on Russia, which has been a focus of the intelligence community for some time (pre-Trump). (2) There was concern the sources and methods of gathering that intelligence may be compromised if information proved to be problematic for the new administration (as it turned out to be in Flynn's case), and therefore, (3) Obama officials were going to some lengths to make sure the trail to Russia wasn't erased or hidden away. I didn't hear that Trump was targeted or that the information was disseminated broadly. However, the Fox News story you forwarded on the MSNBC interview certainly tries to make that point.
My article addresses Trump's credibility, and the advice in the article points to the various ways he has undermined (or could improve) his credibility with people outside his base. Perhaps we can agree Trump has not been as transparent as he could be (taxes, etc.). That and the slow drip of previously undivulged meetings Trump's team has had with Russian  principals has led many people (including Evelyn Farkas) to question his motives and take the action they deemed necessary. Remember, Trump was alerted to Flynn's indiscretions - including deceiving VP Pence - well in advance of firing him. Trump didn't help his cause when he continued to extol Flynn's virtues and, instead, went on a rant about fake news and leaks.  
Trump has demonstrated he loves leaks when it helps his cause and abhors them when it doesn't. Consistency is part of how someone establishes and cultivates their credibility because part of trust is knowing what to expect. Trump enjoyed the "unpredictable" label during the campaign, but that trait is not helping him improve his credibility. Believe it or not, I want Trump to be successful, but if he's not, it will be hard for me to buy a "blame Washington" excuse when I know he can do more to present himself differently and be a more credible leader.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Mar 30, 2017 - 4:09am
Trump Acceptance Resistance Disorder (TARD) is strong in this one. 
Will Trump be a good president? Unlikely. 
Get over it. 
Had Killary gotten in you would be glowing in the dark by now as opposed to sometime in the not too distant future. 
Kick back, relax, grab your adult beverage of choice, some snacks, an attractive warm body and enjoy the show! 
Mike Haluska Added Mar 30, 2017 - 11:35am
There are people out there that could view a video of Hillary Clinton holding up a bank, leaving fingerprints, DNA evidence and a signed confession and then say:
"This is conclusive proof that Hillary Clinton had nothing to do with the bank robbery - it is just another heist by Bush and Cheney."
The fact that it is AGAINST THE LAW for intelligence gathering of US citizens w/o a warrant and it is AGAINST THE LAW to SHARE THE DATA across agencies doesn't get noticed.  All that matters is how do they use the information to overturn a legal election - which is what this mental masturbation is really all about!!! 
Harper Thorpe Added Mar 30, 2017 - 12:28pm
Jeffrey, your wisdom is irrefutable. The adult beverages are flowing freely, although I can't claim to be enjoying the show. As I said to another commenter, I really do want to see this president be successful, and for that to happen, he's got to reach outside his base. For those who are resisting him to open their minds, IMHO it will require more than the typical, political horse-trading because his motives are still under suspicion. Anyway, it's early where I am; so I think a Bloody Mary may be in order. Cheers!
Bill Caciene Added Mar 31, 2017 - 10:31am
Wouldn’t you agree that those president’s that rely on the teleprompter too much are equally likely to be less credible?  The fact of the matter is that one needs to have a happy medium between speaking off-the-cuff and being a robot.  While I’m no fan of Obama, I give him a high grades for being an excellent public speaker, while Hillary sounded like a talking-point robot. 
The rest of your article is nothing more than cheap insults, lies and ridiculousness.  Here are a few highlights of what I’m talking about:
-Trump made no promise to share his tax returns. 
-No president has ever disposed of all personal assets.  Trump might be the first president to enter office much richer than how he leaves office.
-Trump is an adult, it’s the left that’s acting like children whose mommy didn’t buy them a candy bar at the check-out line.
-Trump is a believer in no conspiracy
Harper Thorpe Added Mar 31, 2017 - 2:28pm
Bill Caciene, thanks for your comments. First of all, please don't assume I represent the left because I take issue with how Trump behaves. I'm actually a conservative who believes Trump would be a more successful president if he was more transparent - thus removing the suspicions many have about his motives. My article was deliberately written to sound a bit sarcastic to make that point; so I can understand why you  feel I was being insulting.
Yes, I agree on your teleprompter point(s). Teleprompter or not, Obama generally came across well, and Hillary as robotic. Because Trump's team feels his habit of straying off course is a liability, they have him tied to the teleprompter for any major addresses. Not sure if you saw Trump's impromptu press conference in the middle of February, but Trump's free-wheeling didn't put him in the best light. Obviously, his teleprompter-assisted speech to the Joint Session of Congress was a highpoint.
As far as whether Trump ever promised to show his tax returns, you might want to listen to the audio of a February 2015 interview he did with conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt: After that, he said he would do so many times, although with various qualifications as to under what conditions and timing. At this point, I think it's fair to say no one believes we'll ever see them even though most Americans polled have said they want to see them.
Whether Trump believes (or not) the conspiracy theories he relays, I think he would be better served to stay away from things like talking about Ted Cruz's father being involved in JFK's assassination or Judge Scalia being murdered. Trump devoted so much time to the Obama "birther" theory that many people consider him to be the father of a conspiracy theory that was debunked long ago.
Bill, I'm sure you've heard the phrase "perception is reality." My point (and the point of my article) is Trump can better control how he's perceived and, in doing so, avoid inadvertently undermining his own agenda.
George N Romey Added Apr 1, 2017 - 11:36am
I believe that Trump is over his head.  Being a CEO is nothing like being President because in many ways its a ceremonial position.  Successful Presidents as far as getting their agenda accomplished (whether you believe in that agenda or not) like Johnson, RR, and Clinton learned how to work the system in one way or another.  Johnson got dirt on Congressmen while Clinton was the master negotiator.  If Trump can't pick up this skill set and soon he is doomed.
Given he is 70 years old and doesn't seem to adjust well outside of his way of doing this (which admittedly made him really damn successful) I have serious doubts he can or will.
Mike Haluska Added Apr 6, 2017 - 2:51pm
George - take an OBJECTIVE look at what Trump has already accomplished and he hasn't even reached the "100 Day" mark.  The people with the most to lose (established bureaucrats, politicians) are desperate and trying everything to not report on anything accomplished and their only tactic is delay and obfuscate.
Harper Thorpe Added Apr 6, 2017 - 3:18pm
Mike. Please save me some time, and point me to the best source (in your opinion) for a list of Trump's accomplishments to date. Thanks
Mike Haluska Added Apr 6, 2017 - 4:18pm
Harper - you have fingers, type a request into a browser.  The single greatest source of evidence is the howl of disapproval as Trump continues to accomplish what he promised - most of which is undoing the mess his predecessor socialist created.  Trump has brought in more manufacturing jobs than Obama LOST in 8 years!
Mike Haluska Added Apr 6, 2017 - 4:22pm
Harper - why weren't you concerned about Obama's transparency?  I Frakkin' guarantee you that if Dick Cheney was "monitoring and distributing" intelligence on the Clintons the Democrats and mainstream media would be calling for impeachment 24/7/365!!! 
You like Obama's policies - go live in a nation that practices them!  You can take your choice of North Korea, Cuba, several South American hell holes, Russia, etc.
Harper Thorpe Added Apr 6, 2017 - 7:15pm
Mike - Before I made my request of you, I had already already used my fingers to do some research. But since you've already indicated there are sources you think are lying or leaving facts out of their reporting, I decided this conversation would be more constructive if I knew where you were getting your information. Instead of saying "save me some time", I should have been more direct and said, "send me to the news sources you trust." I'm still interested if you want to share those. 
In any case, you've made assumptions about who I am and what I believe that are not accurate. You also indicated you think it's been proven Obama or his surrogates monitored and distributed intelligence on Trump. That's still being investigated, and so far, no evidence has surfaced to prove that accusation - but maybe that evidence will be found. Similarly, there are yet-to-be-proven accusations relative to Trump and Putin colluding. There are investigations happening in both the Senate and the House, but I'm not going to jump to a conclusion until these investigations are complete.
Mike Haluska Added Apr 7, 2017 - 11:35am
Harper - there is NO DOUBT somebody in the Obama Administration (occurred before Trump was sworn in) leaked classified information (Mike Kelly).  There is NO EVIDENCE produced by anyone since last summer when the "Russian Hacking" supposedly occurred that it actually was done by Russians (Julian Assange leaked the emails and he emphatically states that Russia was NOT the source).  Yet the Democrats feel "entitled" (when don't they, that's their philosophy of life & government?) to an endless investigation even though NO EVIDENCE has been found! 
Here is what I believe happened.  Whoever broke into the Democratic Party email server did so through Hillary Clinton's unprotected server and they were too embarrassed to admit it.  As a result of being way too overconfident in Hillary winning the election, all of the Obama Administration holdovers didn't bother to "clean up" their work areas.  They thought they didn't have to worry about being caught conducting surveillance on Trump and leaking it to the media because Hillary was a shoe in to win the election . . .  OOOPS.
Mark my words, this will eventually become the worst Presidential scandal in our nation's history.  Watergate was Nixon lying about a couple of morons breaking into an office - that's chicken shit compared to a sitting President abusing his power to gather intelligence on a political opponent and continuing to do damage after he left office. 
Mike Haluska Added Apr 7, 2017 - 11:43am
Harper - regarding Congressional Investigations (or any investigation), they should only be conducted AFTER reasonable evidence has been validated by the appropriate legal agency.  Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should we be doing what we are today - conducting "investigations" where no evidence has been presented FIRST to justify an investigation!
All any member (R or D) has to do to disrupt the Congress from getting any work done is simply ACCUSE somebody of something!  This is a dangerous precedent and politicians are all for it because they see it as a way to ward off potential political contenders.  If I am a sitting Senator and I learn there is a serious candidate that has a legitimate chance of beating me, all I have to do is "accuse" him of something and start an "investigation".
Jeff Michka Added Apr 10, 2017 - 6:11pm
Once again, WB rightist club member Mikey HaHaHaluska spreads fake news he can't prove or provide a cite for:where is the "outrage" over the federal government and the Obama Administration collecting surveillance on a PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL with the hopes of smearing him and yes . . . altering the outcome of a national election????- Where is there ANY proof for this rant, Mikey?  There isn't any, but anything to dimish our last real president we'll have had in a long time says you still can't get over the fact he was black. Along with your diseased Clinton hate derangement syndrome, you'll take decades to recover.  Not that I care if you do recover.  Cites, rightist loser?
Jeff Michka Added Apr 12, 2017 - 2:20pm
As predicted, no cites because what ol Mikey says is based on his own lies and "what Mikey thinks," which is fine, but Mikey proffers them as "devine truths," no, just lies.