Yeah, Trump actually said that when being briefed by advisors on nuclear weapons policy.
I actually don’t think Trump is a performance artist. I think he’s a performer who saw an opportunity to extend his brand by running for President. He never expected to win the nomination. And I don’t think he either expects or WANTS to win the general election. However, he does want to exploit his supporters into some sort of media empire that he can make money on.
A great movie that speaks to the Trump phenomenon is “Being There.” staring Peter Sellers as a simple-minded gardner that captures the imagination of the public as some sort savant. It’s an example of how people see want they want to see. Ask yourself why Trump’s ideas are so vague. The second he starts to get specific (re: his “softening” on immigration) all hell breaks lose with his supporters.
Here’s a clip from “Being There.”