Several weeks prior to Władziu Valentino Liberace’s death on Feb. 4, 1987 from a strain of pneumonia brought on by AIDS, the legendary pianist told talk show host Oprah Winfrey what happened when he once “went shopping with Donald Trump.”
“I had a nice fur coat on, and we went up to this furrier, and Donald saw this coat and he said, ‘Why don’t you try that on? That kind of looks like you,’” Liberace said, pointing to the coat, which was being worn by Oprah.
“And I tried it on,” he continued. “I said, ‘Do you really think it looks like me?’ He says, ‘I like it better than the one you’re wearing.’ So I say, ‘Well maybe I should get it in then.’ He said, ‘No, wait, wait.’”
“So we left, and I said, ‘Why wouldn’t you let me buy that coat?’ Because, he said, ‘I can get a better price for you.’”
The premise of the story appeared to be that even when spending time with friends, Trump always kept the basic principles of business in mind.
Whether now-President Trump still maintains this dedication remains unclear, though his success in the business world suggests he never stopped obsessing over basic principles like the one that states products should be purchased at the lowest rate possible.
According to Investopedia, before becoming president, Trump “was one of the most well-known real estate moguls in the world” and had amassed a net worth of at least $3.5 billion thanks to his ability to make “lucrative deals.”
As president, Trump has continued to prioritize deal-making, with him and Chinese President Xi Jinping announcing in early November $250 billion in deals between companies from their respective nations.
“Boeing, General Electric, and Qualcomm were among the U.S. companies securing multi-billion-dollar deals in the announcement, which the White House hopes will go a long way toward addressing complaints about America’s trade deficit with China,” Breitbart reported at the time.
Long before Trump became president, he outlined his deal-making methodology in “Trump: The Art of the Deal,” a best-selling book that included 11 steps for business success, as noted by Inc. magazine:
Protect the downside and the upside will take care of itself
Maximize your options
Know your market
Use your leverage
Enhance your location
Get the word out
Deliver the goods
Contain the costs
It’s unknown what Liberace would think about Trump’s presidency were he still alive, though some might argue he’d be in support of it given the many personality traits the two men shared.
Writing for The U.K. Spectator last year, Alexander Chancellor opined that both Liberace and Trump were boisterous men “with a taste for flamboyant luxury” who were nevertheless accepted as everyday men by middle class Americans.
“Despite his self-indulgence and obsession with luxury, Liberace was accepted by fellow Midwesterners as one of them; and Trump’s flaunting of his billions of dollars doesn’t deter people from regarding him as their champion against a selfish, wealthy elite,” Chancellor wrote.