As often as President Donald Trump has been described as acting like a petulant child or a bully, perhaps no incident better demonstrates the applicability of those descriptions than the story told by CBS News senior global affairs contributor Ian Bremmer about an incident that took place at the G7 summit around the same time that the iconic Rembrandt-esque photo of German Chancellor Angela Merkel leaning across the table towards President Trump with his arms folded across his chest.
According to Bremmer, the photo depicts Merkel and other G7 nation leaders trying to convince Trump to sign the joint communique that the G7 nations typically issue after each summit, a document that Trump reluctantly agreed to sign before he reversed that decision in an angry tweet after hearing the Canada would respond in kind to the tariffs Trump had unilaterally imposed on Canadian goods.
In the course of this initial confrontation, however, Bremmer reports that after his initial grudging agreement to sign the document, Trump reached into the pocket of his suit, pulled out a couple of Starburst candies, and threw them across the table at Merkel, saying:
“Here Angela, don’t say I never give you anything.”
Trump’s sophomoric, and highly undiplomatic, behavior would get a fourth grader thrown in detention, which incidentally is exactly where half of America would like to see President Trump end up.
The childish gesture goes a long way towards explaining the body language in the photo and the pugnacious attitude that led to Trump’s reneging on his endorsement of the joint communique.
With Starburst outbursts like this, it’s no wonder that the leaders of our former closest allies have little respect for the current leader of the United States. After all, they had eight years of dealing with an intelligent, classy, respectful, culturally aware president during the Obama era. Now faced with Obama’s polar opposite, their dismay and disgust are becoming quite palpable.
There is no word as to whether Chancellor Merkel took the Starbursts or not, but one would imagine that she’s smart enough to refuse to take candy from strange men, especially men this exceedingly strange and sinister.
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