Roger Cohen writes in an opinion piecer for the New York Times about President Donald Trump's recent meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, during which he appeared to be uninterested in shaking hands with the German leader.
In his piece, Cohen noted, "Trump’s United States of America has become an unserious country, the offender of the free world."
Calling out Trump's remarks on Twitter that Germany "owes vast sums of money to NATO & the United States," Cohen noted, "that debt is not material, something Trump’s lazy, ahistoric little mind cannot grasp. Germany owes the United States no NATO debt. America is not Europe’s defense contractor."
However, "Merkel is not one to fuss," he wrote. "But Trump’s behavior appalled her entourage," Cohen noted, adding that Trump officials such as national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, are "flying blind because above them at the White House rages a whirlwind of incompetence and ignorance."
Upon meeting Merkel, Cohen noted that Trump "put on one of his most truculent and ignorant performances," angrily claiming Germany owes money to the U.S. and alleging that China is banking off of the 2016 Paris climate accord — climate change is a Chinese hoax, remember.
He also "frequently and brutally [changed] the subject when not interested, which was the case with the European Union." Cohen noted further that Trump was totally unprepared for his meeting with Merkel, suggesting his "preparedness was roughly that of a fourth grader."
The information about which Cohen wrote was offered to him from a senior European diplomat who had been briefed on the meeting. As Kevin Drum noted for Mother Jones, "I'm sure glad that Republicans are restoring the respect for America that we lost after eight years of that empty suit Barack Obama."