President Donal Trump reportedly tries to call world leaders at odd hours and has to be reminded of different time zones on a ‘constant basis,’ Politico reported Monday, citing a former National Security Council Official.
According to a former National Security Council official who spoke to Politico, Trump "wasn't great with recognizing" that an older world leader might not be awake "or in the right place at 10:30 or 11 p.m. their time."
The official said that the US president “randomly” calls his global counterparts without specific topics to discuss, leaving them confused as to why he reached out, adding that Trump has a particularly “bizarre” interest in French President Emmanuel Macron.
Trump “wanted to talk to him constantly,” the official said, adding that “Macron would be like: ‘Hey, what are we talking about?'”
The official said, “these are very busy people. You don’t just call to check in.”
A White House official said Trump is well aware of how time zones work, especially as someone who has for years worked in international business, but is often too busy to be concerned with such details.
"He's the president of the United States. He's not stopping to add up" time differences, the official told Politico.
"I don't think anybody would expect him or Obama or Bush or Clinton or anybody to do that," the official added. "That's the whole reason you have a staff to say 'yes, we'll set it up,' and then they find a time that makes most sense."
Trump “wasn’t great with recognizing” that other world leaders might not be awake “or in the right place at 10:30 or 11 p.m. their time,” the official told Politico.
Even when Trump does prepare for meetings or conversations with other foreign leaders, there’s apparently quite a learning curve — for example, he referred to Nepal as “nipple” and Bhutan as “button” as aides prepped him for a meeting with India’s prime minister, Politico reported, citing two sources with knowledge of the meeting.
The White House defended Trump and said he had "good rapports" with other world leaders.
"The president has developed strong relationships and good rapports that are not only friendly, but also allow for candid conversations with many of America's closest allies," the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, told Politico.
Sanders said that Trump has "even worked the phone with our competitors" and that "foreign leaders appreciate that the president is willing to take their calls day and night."