What Donald Trump really thinks of European leaders

Former US National Security Adviser John Bolton recounts Trump's meetings with his European counterparts.

What Donald Trump really thinks of European leaders

European leaders probably didn’t need a behind-the-scenes memoir to know that Donald Trump is a volatile leader who does not hold many of them in high regard.

Nonetheless, the details of what the U.S. president thinks of Europe’s elite politicians — as recounted in former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s explosive book about his time in the White House — will still make for absorbing reading.

Trump has called Bolton a “liar” and a “disgruntled boring fool who only wanted to go to war.” And Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denounced the former administration official as a “traitor.” But aside from the White House machinations recounted in the book, here are some of Trump’s views on Europe and its leaders, as recounted by Bolton.

What Trump thinks of … Emmanuel Macron

“Trump didn’t really like either [Canadian Prime Minister Justin] Trudeau or [French President Emmanuel] Macron, but he tolerated them, mockingly crossing swords with them in meetings, kidding on the straight,” Bolton writes of the 2018 G7 summit in Canada.

U.S. President Donald Trump, right, brushes the shoulder of French President Emmanuel Macron | Ludovic Marin/AFP via Getty Images

But Trump’s attitude toward the French president is not always consistent. “Trump mused that at some point [Macron] should meet with Iranian President [Hassan] Rouhani, flattering Macron as the best of the Europeans,” Bolton writes.

At the 2017 NATO summit, Trump accused Macron “of always leaking their conversations, which Macron denied, smiling broadly.” Trump later refused to answer Macron’s question on what the U.S. was planning to do regarding trade with China.

Meanwhile, during negotiations about the Iran nuclear deal in 2019, Bolton says Trump told him, “Everything he [Macron] touches turns to shit.”

What Trump thinks of … Angela Merkel and Germany

The president’s view of the German chancellor appears to reflect both respect for the country she leads and irritation with its foreign and security policy.

“[Trump] had great respect for Chancellor Merkel, noting that his father was German, and his mother Scottish,” Bolton writes in a chapter on the 2017 NATO summit in Brussels.

At the same meeting, Trump “kissed [Merkel] on both cheeks,” before saying “I love Angela,” following a commitment by European NATO members to up defense spending.

Donald Trump and Angela Merkel | Benoit Tessier/AFP via Getty Images

But the U.S. president has made no secret of his objection to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project. “It’s very sad when Germany makes a massive oil-and-gas deal with Russia. We’re protecting all of these countries, and they make a pipeline deal,” Bolton quotes Trump as saying during a meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. “We’re going to have to do something, because we’re not going to put up with it. Germany is captured by Russia.”

What Trump thinks of … Brexit, Theresa May and Boris Johnson

Describing Trump’s trip to the U.K. in 2018 to talk to then-PM Theresa May, Bolton writes that the president and himself would have liked to help the U.K. with the Brexit process, but found it hard.

“Implementing the [Brexit] vote had been disastrously mishandled, thereby threatening political stability in Britain itself,” he writes. “We should have been doing far more to help the Brexiteers, and I certainly tried. Unfortunately, apart from Trump and myself, almost no one in the Administration seemed to care. What a potential tragedy.”

Trump with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson | Peter Nicholls/AFP via Getty Images

During the same trip, Trump bragged toward May about his state visit to China the previous year.

“He said he was greeted by a hundred thousand soldiers and said, ‘There’s never been anything like it before in the history of the world.'” Bolton writes.

And the former White House official claims that Boris Johnson is Trump’s joint-favorite world leader alongside Shinzō Abe, the prime minister of Japan.

What Trump thinks of … Jean-Claude Juncker and the EU

On Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission until last year, Trump said he thought he was “a vicious man who hated the United States desperately.”

Trump and former President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker | Lodovic Marin/AFP via Getty Images

“The EU is worse than China, only smaller,” Trump said, according to Bolton, even arguing to Merkel that the bloc had been set up to “take advantage of the US.”

Source : Politico EU More   

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The Rock and Ursula von der Leyen to co-host corona event

European Commission chief to co-host concert and summit featuring Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber.

The Rock and Ursula von der Leyen to co-host corona event

He’s starred alongside Rachel Weisz, Vin Diesel and a crocodile named Lizzie, but now Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson is preparing to share the limelight with … Ursula von der Leyen.

The president of the European Commission will join the former wrestler turned action movie lead as co-hosts of a global coronavirus pledging summit and concert on Saturday.

Details of the event were first revealed late last month. The Commission on Monday gave more information on those who will take part.

The goal is to raise donations from everyone — not just major countries and philanthropists — to help find diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines to fight coronavirus.

Von der Leyen and Johnson — whose box office hits include “Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle” and “The Mummy Returns” — will co-host the event, which will include performances by Christine and the Queens, Shakira, Coldplay, Usher, Jennifer Hudson, Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber.

The concert — which is part of the Global Goal: Unite For Our Future campaign launched by the Commission and the anti-poverty movement Global Citizen — will also feature appearances by Chris Rock, Hugh Jackman, Charlize Theron, Forest Whitaker, David Beckham and Salma Hayek.

It will be broadcast by a number of European TV channels and on social media.

In a statement, von der Leyen said: “Artists have the power to inspire change. They use their talents to serve great causes. On 27 June, at the ‘Global Goal: Unite for our Future’ Summit and Concert, artists, scientists and world leaders will speak with one voice, in a true and rare moment of global unity. They will commit to helping the world end coronavirus, while leaving no one behind. The European Union is fully committed to ensuring fair access to an affordable vaccine, as soon as possible, for everyone that needs it. United, I know we can make the world a safer place.”

Source : Politico EU More   

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