Early Thursday, the Washington Post published the transcripts of phone calls that Donald Trump has had with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. These leaders represent countries that are some of the United States’ oldest and closest allies, so Trump’s conversations with them offer an interesting insight into how he views the United States’ place in the world and what his preferred style of negotiation and conversation with other world leaders is.
As many might have guessed, his preferred style of negotiation is to bluster he was through conversations on topics he knows nothing about, making uninformed and bigoted comments until the other party is exhausted, frustrated, and shocked at his ignorance. In his call with Nieto, Trump once again asserted his belief that individuals immigrating to the United States from Mexico were “bad hombres”, quoting his own campaign speeches in which he alleged that all Mexican immigrants are drug traffickers.
He also essentially begs Nieto to stop saying that Mexico wouldn’t be paying for the wall in an attempt to make his most ridiculous plan look less absurd. Trump referred to the wall as “the least important thing [they] were talking about”, proving that he’s been lying to his constituents all along: he knows that the wall is a sham, and that it’s never going to be paid for by anyone else. Trump’s wall is one of many lies that he tells his xenophobic base in order to validate their xenophobic and racist beliefs on immigration.
If Trump’s call with Nieto highlighted the lies that Trump has told about his own policy, his call with Turnbull made it clear that he has done absolutely no research into international immigration or human rights agreement, and is still not reading information provided to him by intelligence agencies. Trump completely fails to understand Australia’s widely known policy of not accepting immigrants who arrive by boat, asking Turnbull “What is the thing with boats? Why do you discriminate against boats?” despite the fact that the Australian Prime Minister had explained the policy numerous times throughout the conversation.
Turnbull also quickly became exasperated explaining the details of an agreement that the Australian government had made with Barack Obama that obligated the United States to vet approximately 1,250 refugees. Over and over, Trump forgot the relevant number of refugees, claiming it was 2,000, 2,500, even 5,000 people while Turnbull corrected him over and over again. Truly, the conversation reads like one between an adult and a child with a short attention span that needs to be constantly reminded of the subject of conversation.
As usual, these transcripts show that the Trump presidency isn’t simply one that promotes bad policy: it’s one that embarrasses the United States around the world. If world leaders like Turnbull and Nieto feel the need to talk to the President of the United States like he is a petulant child, America will quickly lose its already crumbling status as a world power and global leader, and we’ll only have Trump to blame.
Source: Washington Post