Ambassador Blasts Trump and His Administration: They “Don’t Have Allies, Don’t Have Friends”

Published on April 20, 2019 by Athena Pallas

The French ambassador to the United States, who is retiring after a 37-year career in diplomacy, in a new interview called President Trump “unpredictable, uninformed”, compared the Trump administration to the court of Louis XIV, and blasted Trump’s America First policy as actually meaning “America alone”, according to The Hill. Gérard Araud has served as the French ambassador to the U.S. since 2014 and among his previous positions was as France’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

Araud, in an interview with The Guardian, also praised President Obama as a comparison to his criticisms of Trump. While Araud said of Trump, according to The Hill, that, like Louis XIV, “You have an old king, a bit whimsical, unpredictable, uninformed, but he wants to be the one deciding,” he said of Obama, “You know every night he was going to bed with 60 pages and in the morning they were coming back all annotated by the president”, and said that Obama’s foreign policy decisions followed months of strategy meetings, interagency cooperation, and informed consideration, all of which have largely gone by the wayside in the Trump administration. According to The Hill:

The outgoing French ambassador to the U.S. compared President Trump’s administration to King Louis XIV’s court, calling Trump a “whimsical, unpredictable, uninformed” leader. …He went on to torch Trump’s unpredictability and foreign policy interests, saying the president has isolated itself (himself) from traditional allies. “When they say ‘America first’, it’s America alone,” Araud said in the interview. “Basically, this president and this administration don’t have allies, don’t have friends. It’s really [about] bilateral relationships on the basis of the balance of power and the defense of narrow American interest.” …The French ambassador has been critical Trump since the beginning of his presidency. “It is the end of an era, the era of neoliberalism. We don’t yet know what will succeed it,” Araud tweeted at 2 a.m. on the night Trump was elected. “After Brexit and this election, anything is possible. A world is collapsing before our eyes. Vertigo.”

Araud, facing criticism of his own, quickly deleted the tweet quoted above from the night that Trump was elected as president shortly after it was originally posted. However, looking back, Araud believes that subsequent behavior from the Trump administration has shown that what he said in that tweet was indeed correct, saying of it, according to The Guardian, “But looking at it in retrospect, of course I was right. My world, our world of certainties, really was collapsing and we were facing a real, substantial, dangerous crisis, which could basically really overwhelm my own country. I believe we are entering a new era. I just don’t know what this era will be.” Araud in his interview also warned the United Kingdom not to expect any leeway or special treatment from the Trump administration when the U.K. goes to renegotiate trade deals after Brexit removes it from existing E.U.-U.S. trade deals, despite the U.K. traditionally being one of the closest allies of the U.S., since the Trump administration, Araud said, does not think “in terms of multilateral cooperation”.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons.