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As to what Trump was really after in his quest to reinvent himself as a statesman/politician, he may have revealed part of the answer when he told the Washington Post that the man who was egging him on was none other than the mentor he so looked up to, a man for whom motives were simple. Primal. There was always money. There was always a deal. There was always an angle, and a fix. (source House of Trump House of Putin.)

I don't quite get the meaning of the sentence here. What does it really mean?

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  • Can you include the source, a link is best, thanks.
    – James K
    Commented Apr 24, 2022 at 12:17
  • @JamesK I don't have a link. It's from a book I bought - House of Trump House of Putin.
    – dan
    Commented Apr 24, 2022 at 12:19

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Many times, politicians and businessmen need to talk so frequently that their content to word ratio drops. Often they will revert to "business speak" which repeats phrases and borrows meaning from other past, popular phrases.

In understanding these phrases, it is important to take them in context, as often the words are not as important as they seem.

There was always money.
There was always a deal.
There was always an angle, and a fix.

At first he's stating that the primary motivations were money. Then the brokering of power (often for money). Then the attempt to gain advantage (to obtain more power or money) by recasting in a (often invalid) point of view. Then the understanding that any mistake could be recovered from.

Trump's legacy is going to be in dispute for many years to come, but it is clear that Trump always felt that problems needed his repair. That repair may have been to take action in deeds, or action in words; but the repair was always present.

One might argue that the Inauguration Speech attendance fit the "need for a fix" where the "angle" was that everyone else was lying about attendance numbers, and the "fix" was to declare the entire news media as incapable of reporting the truth.

In many cases, people who talk about angles present opinions as tools to "work around" facts. For example, I might be selling an overpriced insurance policy, but "my angle" would be to emphasize my policy against no insurance, and if my policy was worthless, my "fix" would be to shift blame from me selling it (knowing it would fail) to a the executives of the company that went under (even if it went under before I sold the policy).

Angles and fixes (in this context) are business tools used to achieve results even when the facts don't support the conclusion you desire.

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When something has an angle it is implied that that something can be useful or advantageous when approached from a certain direction (usually in a figurative sense).

This definition on lexico.com seems to come closest to the intended meaning:

A particular way of approaching or considering an issue or problem.

But I think the idiom can have a more active - if not aggressive - meaning, which is the meaning used here: there is no issue or problem to be solved, but an advantage to be had, brought about by that "primal motive".

Maybe when seen in the light of the following definition from dictionary.com, that becomes a little clearer:

(informal use) a secret motive

As for the "fix", its meaning is more straightforward:

(informal use) a dishonest or underhand arrangement

In this context, the 'angle' and 'fix' seem to narrow down how (most of) the deals and money were made; how that primal motive inspired Trump's mentor.

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