Lobbyist Barry Bennett Dishes on the Trump Swamp He Helped Create
Former senior adviser to the Trump campaign Barry Bennett on “the secret of my marketing success” in the age of Donald J. Trump.
OMNISHAMBLES is a weekly podcast by The Daily Beast hosted by Jackie Kucinich, Sam Stein, and Asawin Suebsaeng. Want to make sense of the chaos in Trump-era Washington? Subscribe and listen to Omnishambles on Apple Podcasts.
This week, we discuss what, exactly, it’s like operating as a Washington lobbyist in the Donald Trump era. Fortunately, we have a former Trump adviser and longtime Republican operative on the show to take us through the gory details, what it was like working for The Donald, and how President Trump changed and repopulated the “Swamp” that he campaigned to destroy with extreme prejudice.
This week’s guest: Barry Bennett, a former senior adviser to the 2016 Trump campaign and a founder of lobbying firm Avenue Strategies.
Bennett, on the formula for his Trump-era lobbying success: “I'll give you the secret of my marketing success: 'Hello.' They called. I never pitched. They just started calling. You know, in our first week in business, we probably had 50 people who were trying to hire us...because they didn't know who else to go to [after Trump won]. Right? I mean, it was clear that Tony Podesta wasn't the right person... Everybody in town had taken shots at [the president] or wasn't helpful.”
On what makes his former boss, President Donald J. Trump, tick: "What people don't understand is how transactional he is. He’s perfectly willing to give you a win for a win for himself.”
After Sam asked him if he tries getting his clients on Fox News often to try to “talk” directly to Trump: “I think it's true of any president, if you want them to see your story in terms of advertising, you have to advertise where they're watching. So, I mean, Fox & Friends is both a cheap buy and a highly effective one.”
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