Bloomberg News published a fascinating insight today into the bizarre and apparently deteriorating relationship between Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May. The story highlights how impossible it is for foreign nations to deal with the White House under the new president — a scary prospect given the United States is still the most powerful country in the world. This story is particularly revealing of Trump’s childish behavior and how shockingly ill equipped he is to deal with even the most basic geopolitical issues:
In one phone conversation during 2017, Trump complained to May over the criticism he’d been getting in British newspapers. Amid warnings that Trump would face protests in the streets when he arrived, he told the prime minister he would not be coming to the U.K. until she could promise him a warm welcome.
May responded to say such treatment was simply the way the British press operate, and there wasn’t much she could do. In the secure bunker underneath the prime minister’s office, her advisers listened in to the call in astonishment at Trump’s demand.
Trump genuinely doesn’t seem to comprehend the fact that the British Prime Minister a) isn’t popular herself so has little sway over public opinion, b) couldn’t demand the public give Trump a “warm welcome” even if she was popular, and c) isn’t interested in Trump’s popularity with the British press.
The Bloomberg piece also highlights Trump’s complete inability to communicate with anyone properly. His interactions with May are characterized by him ranting about whatever happens to be on his mind without letting her speak at all:
During formal phone calls between the two leaders, May finds it almost impossible to make headway and get her points across, one person familiar with the matter said. Trump totally dominates the discussion, leaving the prime minister with five or ten seconds to speak before he interrupts and launches into another monologue.
How do foreign countries deal with the United States if the president won’t let them speak? How do they manage complex negotiations if the president is incapable of behaving like an adult? The Democrats are currently experiencing Trump’s insane negotiating tactics over the never ending battle to keep the federal government open and funded, and it is a wonder they have managed to come to their current short term arrangement. Trump switches from one position to the next in a matter of minutes making deals almost completely impossible. It seems he believes these negotiating tactics can and should be used with America’s allies — a mistake that will cost the country dearly in the long run.
Trump is not just unfit to be in office, he is an active liability. The more we learn about his dysfunctional relationships with foreign leaders, the more urgent his removal becomes.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.