Donald Trump changed his tune on China pretty dramatically from Monday to Tuesday. On Monday, “It’s an incredible deal. It goes down, certainly, if it happens, it goes down as one of the largest deals ever made.” On Tuesday, Trump more or less admitted that “if it happens” was the only true part of that sentence. There is no China deal, there’s just a plan to work on one.
That information came via Trump’s Twitter feed though almost certainly not via his authorship—Tuesday’s series of four tweets has all the hallmarks of having been written by staff—by offering up a boatload of caveats. Negotiations have started, aimed at “seeing whether or not a REAL deal with China is actually possible.” And “President Xi and I want this deal to happen, and it probably will.” Probably. Mr. Art of the Deal is saying probably. So … probably not? Yeah, about that: “But if not remember . . . I am a Tariff Man.” Tariff Man. Where’s Weird Al to write a “Rocket Man” parody when you need one? Or should it be “Piano Man”? Or really are we just in “oh, I thought you were a grab ‘em by the pussy man” territory here?
The caveating was not complete, though: “if a fair deal is able to be made with China,” Trump tweeted, he would sign it. So we’ve got that they’re seeing whether or not a real deal is actually possible. The deal will probably happen. But if it doesn’t happen … And then another if.
Then, having started the tweets with “The negotiations with China have already started,” he finished with “Let the negotiations begin.” On the deal that a day earlier he’d been talking about as “an incredible deal,” as if he knew what was in it.