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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.
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.