Gerard Araud, America's departing French ambassador, did not mince his words when describing American President Donald Trump in his exit interview.
Araud, a career diplomat who has held some of the most important jobs in French diplomacy over the last 37 years, said that Trump is single-handedly responsible for isolating the United States on the world stage. In his last interview before he departs office on Friday, Araud described Trump as a "big mouth" who does not ever read, reports The Guardian.
"When they say 'America first', it's America alone.In a cautionary piece of advice he gave to the Europeans, the French ambassador said that America is not an ally of Europe anymore. Araud said that Trump's first instinct is to disregard multi-lateral cooperation. He said that Trump's sense of foreign policy derives from narrow American interest -- a practice, he warned -- which could come back to haunt the United States.
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."
"They [Trump administration] are not thinking in terms of multilateral cooperation first. And secondly, they don't have any affection towards the Europeans. They treat Europeans the way they treat the Chinese," Araud said.Araud, who is retiring from his official capacity as a French diplomat, is famous in Washington for being openly gay, disdaining political correctness and throwing memorable parties. Those who know him well say that Araud -- now free from the shackles of political duties -- will not hold back in his denouncement of Trumpian policies.
The French ambassador also had some choice words for Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, responsible for overseeing America's relationship with the Middle East. Araud warned that although Kushner is smart, he has no sense of the complicated history of the Middle East and is only interested in the region for real-estate opportunities.Trump's decision-making on core issues and his relationships with foreign leaders also had Araud bemused. In particular, Trump's relationship with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un, has mystified the French ambassador. While Trump and Kim Jong-Un mocked each other and threatened the world with nuclear war early in Trump's tenure, the American president has become more friendly with Jong-Un following two international summits. Araud said that trying to analyze Donald Trump was like analyzing French king Louis XIV's court. He said that both of them had a pretense of invincibility around them.
"It's like [trying] to analyze the court of Louis XIV," Araud said. "You have an old king, a bit whimsical, unpredictable, uninformed, but he wants to be the one deciding."