Airline CEO: Donald Trump is all 'smoke and mirrors'

Qatar Airways CEO: Donald Trump is 'smoke and mirrors'
Qatar Airways CEO: Donald Trump is 'smoke and mirrors'

The CEO of one of the world's top airlines believes Donald Trump the president would be very different than Donald Trump the campaigner.

"It's all smoke and mirrors with Donald," Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker told CNN on Wednesday. "Donald is a businessman -- at the end of the day he will see what is in the best interest of his country."

Trump's anti-immigration and anti-Muslim rhetoric, Al Baker said, was designed to appease right-wing voters.

Al Baker's tone was softer than some of his previous remarks about Trump, whom he describes as a friend.

In December, the airline executive said that Trump would "not be welcome" in Muslim countries after he proposed banning Muslims from entering the U.S.

Now, the CEO is taking a more pragmatic view of Trump's policy statements.

"I think he will be clever not to go the path that he has been beating the drums about," Al Baker said. "It is detrimental to his own interests and detrimental to the interests in general of [the] United States."

Related: This is your brain on Donald Trump

Asked if he's willing to do business with Trump, the chief executive said he wouldn't hesitate.

"I'm a businessman and I will even do business with the devil as long as it's win-win for both," Al Baker said.

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