The French ambassador to the U.S. is known for being blunt, and he’s staying true to form as he leaves his post on Friday after five years on the job.
In exit interviews with several publications, Gerard Araud has offered a harsh assessment of President Donald Trump, but also expressed some approval.
“It’s like [trying] to analyze the court of Louis XIV,” Araud told The Guardian, referring to the Trump administration. “You have an old king, a bit whimsical, unpredictable, uninformed, but he wants to be the one deciding.”
Trump “doesn’t want to appear under any influence and he wants to show it,” similar to the Sun King who dominated France in the 17th and 18th centuries, he said.
On the other hand, Araud suggested the American president is on the right track on some trade issues, as the outgoing ambassador said an era of embracing free trade is over. He offered this take to The Atlantic on Trump’s approach to trade:
‘Brutal, a bit primitive, but in a sense he’s right. What he’s doing with China should have been done, maybe in a different way, but should have been done before.’
Araud added that Trump “has felt Americans’ fatigue, but Obama also did.”
The departing ambassador also told The Atlantic his views on Trump aides, saying John Bolton is a “real professional,” even though “he hates international organizations,” while Jared Kushner is “extremely smart, but he has no guts.”
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