Maybe Don't Tell President Trump Any of Your Secrets

President Donald Trump with Resting Shart Face™ in the East Room of the White House  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump with Resting Shart Face™ in the East Room of the White House (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump hates leaks. Well, he hates leaks about himself. The president is 100 percent fine with giving secrets to Russian officials in the Oval Office or telling the world about “off the record” conversations he has with CEOs. And it’s a great lesson for anyone thinking of confiding in the 45th President of the United States. Just don’t.

President Trump has been touting the newly announced Foxconn plant in Wisconsin that will reportedly bring jobs and an influx of cash to the state. But he insists that the amount of money invested by Foxconn might even be higher than reported. How does Trump know? He had an “off the record” talk with the CEO who told him as much.

“He told me off the record he may go [to] $30 billion – $30 billion – think of this,” Trump said Tuesday in a quote first noticed by CNBC. “But he told me that off the record, so I promised I wouldn’t tell anybody.”


Well, so much for that. Trump’s comments came during a press conference at the White House yesterday about small businesses. Foxconn chairman Terry Gou has yet to respond about the off the record conversation. You can watch a short video of Trump talking about their chat below.

Secrets aside, the Foxconn deal definitely has more issues than the conservative press have been letting on. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has reported that Wisconsin already waives taxes on manufacturing profits, so the state will effectively be writing huge checks to Foxconn for the company to set up shop.

From the Journal Sentinel:

The subsidies for the deal would amount to nearly 50 times the previous record paid by Wisconsin taxpayers to secure a manufacturing plant in the state. Instead of getting the previous state standard of 7 cents in tax credits for every $1 in qualifying payroll checks to workers, Foxconn would get 17 cents in credits — a change that will have to be approved in special session legislation Gov. Scott Walker released Friday.

And because Wisconsin already waives almost all taxes on manufacturing profits in the state, these incentives represent not a lost opportunity at collecting revenue but an obligation to pay cash to Foxconn out of the state treasury for up to 15 years. When including a $150 million sales tax break for buying construction material, the incentive package could total up to $3 billion, according to the bill that lawmakers could vote on as soon as Tuesday.


Was the CEO of Foxconn blowing smoke up Trump’s ass? Did he even say what Trump says he did? We really don’t know.

This is the guy who recently said that the Boy Scouts called him up to thank him for giving the greatest speech ever. The Boy Scouts actually apologized to parents for the politicization of the Boy Scout Jamboree and denies that anyone from the organization said it was the best speech ever.


But the lesson remains. If you want to keep a secret, don’t tell Donald Trump.

Matt Novak is the editor of Gizmodo's Paleofuture blog

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oh dear... non ‘murican here with a (legit?) question: if this clown is a national embarrassment, is there anything you can do to get rid of him?