In the larger scope of the overall scandal involving Donald Trump’s absconding with top secret classified documents from the White House, the disgraced former president’s possession of a document labeled “info re: President of France” may seem relatively minor. In truth, however, the fact that Trump had held on to sensitive private information clandestinely gathered by American intelligence agencies about French President Emmanuel Macron represents the true magnitude of the Mar-a-Lago hoarder’s audacious crimes.
According to a new report in Rolling Stone magazine, Donald Trump has frequently bragged to his friends about his possession of “illicit details about the love life of French President Emmanuel Macron.” The magazine cites “two people with knowledge of the matter” as the source of its information, sources that also specifically say that Trump claimed to have learned much of his salacious gossip fodder from his intelligence briefings.
While it’s not known exactly what the document on the FBI’s inventory of items found at Mar-a-Lago labeled “info re: President of France” actually contains, its very existence has created a firestorm of international diplomatic furor.
According to Rolling Stone:
“…Trump’s prior talk about Macron’s allegedly “naughty” ways that “[not] very many people know” only intensified those concerns. Both French and U.S. officials worked to figure out precisely what Trump had on Macron and France’s government, and if any of it was sensitive in nature, the sources said. The officials in both nations wanted to know if this discovery signified some kind of national-security breach — or if it amounted to a frivolous, but stolen, keepsake.”
While Trump’s relationship with Macron during his presidency started off as relatively cordial, policy differences with the European leader soon led Trump to endorse Macron’s major political rival, far-right French politician Marie LePen.
“Trump could be heard blasting Macron as a ‘pain in the ass’ to a White House gathering of international ambassadors to the United Nations. Trump’s former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham also wrote in a memoir that Trump had privately called Macron a ‘a wuss guy’ and ‘a hundred twenty pounds of fury,’” Rolling Stone reported.
While Macron and other European leaders have barely been able to contain their delight at Trump’s defeat by Joe Biden in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, this latest revelation about U.S. intelligence gathering — and Donald Trump’s careless handling of classified information — may put a damper on the renewal of friendly relations with an ally alienated by four years of Trump’s isolationist policies.
Donald Trump has managed to poison relations with our allies even in his post-presidential dotage.
Original reporting by Adam Rawnsley and Asawin Suebsaeng at Rolling Stone.