Trump’s lack of predictability extends further than any notable predecessor, and there is no clear rhyme and reason to his behavior — much less a coherent strategy. There’s little evidence to suggest he’s doing more than taking issues as they come each day, hopping from lily pad to lily pad and doing his best to make it look like he plotted his jumps. Unconstrained by any obvious political ideology, he is free in a way to go about trying to build a wall and make better deals for the US by any means he chooses, in any given moment.

Naftali differentiated between the madman theory and pragmatism, suggesting the latter was a part of Trump’s behavior and pointing out that he ran as a dealmaker.