Outgoing French ambassador Gerard Araud tore into President Trump in a collection of exit interviews, calling the U.S. president a “huge mouth” who reads “principally nothing or almost nothing” — and even evaluating him to the “uninformed” French King Louis XIV.
Araud, in an interview with Overseas Coverage, drew a stark distinction between the presidencies of Barack Obama and the present White Home occupant.
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“On one facet, you had this final bureaucrat, an introvert, principally a bit aloof, a restrained president. A bit boastful additionally however principally any person who each evening was going to mattress with 60-page briefings and the subsequent day they had been despatched again annotated by the president,” he stated, referring to Obama.
“And all of the sudden you will have this president who’s an extrovert, actually an enormous mouth, who reads principally nothing or almost nothing, with the interagency course of completely damaged and choices taken from the hip principally.”
He advised the journal that usually choices or statements come from the White Home, and even administration officers are shocked by them or don’t know what they imply.
Specifically, he cited the Dec. 19 announcement of a U.S. withdrawal from Syria in addition to the current determination to acknowledge Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights — the place he stated “what I perceive was the secretary of state [Mike Pompeo] was not knowledgeable.”
Nonetheless, his recommendation to the Elysee Palace for coping with Trump when he went on the assault in opposition to President Emmanuel Macron was that officers do nothing
“He as soon as criticized the French president [Emmanuel Macron], and other people referred to as me from Paris to say, ‘What ought to we do?’ My reply was clear: ‘Nothing.’ Do nothing as a result of he’ll all the time outbid you. As a result of he can’t settle for showing to lose. You might have restraint in your facet, and he has no restraint on his facet, so that you lose. It’s escalation dominance.”
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In one other interview with The Guardian, Araud in contrast Trump to the French King Louis XIV, who reigned in France within the 17th and 18th centuries.
“It’s like [trying] to analyse the court docket of Louis XIV,” Araud stated. “You might have an previous king, a bit whimsical, unpredictable, uninformed, however he needs to be the one deciding.”
Araud’s anti-Trump views are well-known. On Election Night time 2016, he tweeted, “A world is collapsing earlier than our eyes. Vertigo,” earlier than deleting it.
That bleak view of the post-2016 world continued in his interview with Overseas Coverage the place he struggled to search out optimism a couple of Trump re-election, or the prospects for Britain’s departure from the European Union.
“I don’t know if will probably be a catastrophe,” he stated, requested about his ideas on a Trump 2020 win. “I’m positive it received’t be a superb factor. However on the similar time it’s too simple to say Trump is accountable. As a result of on the European facet, the disaster is on either side of the Atlantic. You see the unbelievable cleaning soap opera [over Brexit] supplied up by the British. Regardless of the consequence, it’s a lose-lose state of affairs for Europe. It’s a catastrophe that we’re shedding the British, all of the capabilities they’re bringing to us.”
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Requested about his election evening tweet by The Guardian, he stated that on reflection, he believed the tweet to be proper.
“My world, our world of certainties, actually was collapsing and we had been dealing with an actual, substantial, harmful disaster, which may principally actually overwhelm my very own nation,” he stated. “I consider we’re getting into a brand new period. I simply don’t know what this period shall be.”