Former French ambassador: Trump administration 'dysfunctional'

Gérard Araud criticizes White House

By Jennifer Hansler, CNN
Copyright 2019 CNN

Former French Ambassador to US Gérard Araud.

Paris - The former French ambassador to the US on Tuesday described the Trump administration as "totally dysfunctional" and said the United States "is not anymore the policeman of the world."

"A lot of offices are still empty, two years after the inauguration of President Trump. Or people are appointed and they leave after one year. Or if there are people in the office ... they don't know what the President will decide the day after. So in a sense, it's dysfunctional," Gérard Araud said in an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour.

Araud also dismissed the idea that French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Donald Trump had a so-called "bromance," saying "it didn't make any sense." He said Macron, like any other French president, wanted to have a good relationship with his American counterpart.

"The fact here is that the men disagree on most of the issues," Araud said, referencing the Iran nuclear deal specifically that the Trump administration withdrew from last year.

Araud, who retired last week after nearly five years in Washington, has not been shy about sharing his thoughts on the Trump administration.

In a number of exit interviews last week, Araud painted a stark contrast between former President Barack Obama, whom he described repeatedly as "the ultimate bureaucrat," and Trump.

Araud told The Guardian that dealing with the Trump administration was "like [trying] to analyze the court of Louis XIV," a 17th and 18th century French king.

"You have an old king, a bit whimsical, unpredictable, uninformed, but he wants to be the one deciding," he said.

In an interview with Foreign Policy, Araud described Obama as "a bit arrogant also but basically somebody who every night was going to bed with 60-page briefings and the next day they were sent back annotated by the President."

"And suddenly you have this President who is an extrovert, really a big mouth, who reads basically nothing or nearly nothing, with the interagency process totally broken and decisions taken from the hip basically," he said.

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