Society

European Diplomats Critical Of Trump

| by Jordan Smith
Trump with Merkel and MayTrump with Merkel and May

European diplomats say they are concerned about President Donald Trump, describing him as erratic and limited.

Six top government officials spoke anonymously to BuzzFeed News about their dealings with the U.S. president.

Diplomats noted that concern is growing about the threat Trump poses to international peace and security.

"Trump could send a tweet in the middle of the night pissing off Kim Jong Un," one official told BuzzFeed. "And the next morning we wake up to a world on the brink of war."

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This comment was made prior to Trump's latest threats against North Korea. On Aug. 8, the president vowed to use "fire and fury" to punish Pyongyang for its missile tests.

The diplomats pointed out that they find it hard to have policy discussions with Trump because of the lack of experts appointed to key posts in the administration. They also stated that Trump is focused chiefly on undoing the foreign policy record of his predecessor.

"It's his only real position," one of the diplomats told BuzzFeed. "He will ask: 'Did Obama approve this?' And if the answer is affirmative, he will say: 'We don't.' He won't even want to listen to the arguments or have a debate. He is obsessed with Obama."

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One area where this has prevented progress, according to the diplomats, is dealing with Libya.

"He's not the kind of person you can have a discussion about how to deal with [Fayez] al-Sarraj [the prime minister of Libya]," said a diplomat. "So you look for people around him, and that is where it's a problem. The constant upheaval, it's unclear who has influence, who is close to the president."

The officials alleged that Trump divides up countries based on whether he likes them or not. One said that he disapproves of France because of its immigration policy and is hostile to Germany.

"The main risk is a progressive disengagement from multilateralism, not just on economic issues, but also from political matters with potential risks linked to a return to unilateral action," added an official.

The tensions expressed in the officials' comments come after a dispute between European governments and the Trump administration over new sanctions on Russia.

On July 25, Congress voted to impose sanctions on companies doing business with the Russian energy sector. Such sanctions threaten to impact European companies, many of which are involved in building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to supply Germany with gas from Russia.

Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Union Commission, stated after Trump signed the sanctions that the EU would take "adequate measures" against U.S. companies if Washington's sanctions "disadvantage EU companies trading with Russia in the energy sector," EU Observer reported.

Sources: BuzzFeed, EU Observer / Featured Image: The White House/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: The White House/Wikimedia Commons, Shealah Craighead/The White House via Wikimedia Commons

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