Speed Reads

Guiding Lights

Trump is 'obsessed with Obama' and cares only about undoing his policies, European officials say

Before President Trump stepped into nuclear brinksmanship with North Korea on Tuesday, European diplomats told BuzzFeed's Alberto Nardelli that Trump is both mocked and feared by his allies overseas. One of the six "top European government officials who've had firsthand dealings on the international stage with Trump and his administration" said that one group of diplomats plays a version of word bingo when Trump speaks, taking advantage of what they view as his limited vocabulary.

Trump is inappropriate in international meetings, openly mocking his aides and also making off-color jokes, like Italy's former playboy prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi (though "Berlusconi wasn't ignorant," one official said). But he does understand power dynamics and try to affirm his place in the international firmament, diplomats tell Nardelli. And Trump does have at least one polestar:

They also believe Trump's foreign policy is chiefly driven by an obsession with unravelling Barack Obama's policies. "It's his only real position," one European diplomat said. "He will ask: 'Did Obama approve this?' And if the answer is affirmative, he will say: 'We don't.' He won't even want to listen to the arguments or have a debate. He is obsessed with Obama." [BuzzFeed News]

Maybe that explains Trump's singular focus on getting rid of ObamaCare, come hell or no tax reform.