Aides regularly tell Trump not to call foreign leaders at odd hours due to time zones
White House aides must regularly tell President Trump not to call foreign leaders at odd hours due to time zone differences, according to a new Politico report about Trump’s multiple “diplomatic faux-pas.”
Sources close to Trump told Politico the president often proposes phone calls with world leaders, including Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, at times when they would likely be asleep.
“When he wants to call someone, he wants to call someone,” one source told Politico. “He’s more impulsive that way. He doesn’t think about what time it is or who it is.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Politico that “foreign leaders appreciate that the president is willing to take their calls day and night.”
“The president has made clear that when leaders reach out for calls, [aides should] set them up right away,” Sanders said. “He has had foreign leaders calls very late at night and never wants another leader to wait before their call is returned.”
Former National Security Council staffers and White House sources told Politico that the president’s foreign affairs knowledge is lacking. At one meeting, Trump allegedly mispronounced Nepal as “nipple” and Bhutan as “button,” two sources told Politico.
A White House official denied that element of the report, saying others who attended the meeting did not remember the president saying that.
One former National Security Council official told Politico that the president avoids saying certain words and names for fear he will mispronounce them when speaking to other world leaders.