Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.
Most foreign leaders have tried to play nice with President Donald Trump in their public meetings, overlooking his flagrant disrespect and rampant breaking of norms in an effort to keep relations with the United States as smooth as possible.
But on Monday, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte showed a glimmer of defiance and derision toward the president even while he maintained a smile.
While meeting in front of press in the Oval Office, Rutte openly contradicted Trump and rightly laughed at his comments as the president discussed trade with the European Union. Trump was opining about his ongoing dispute with European leaders regarding his aggressive stance on trade.
He tried to argue that whether or not his tactics lead to productive agreements with the foreign countries, everything would work out fine.
“A lot of good things are happening,” Trump said. “I think the EU — we’re going to be meeting with the fairly soon, they want to see if they can work something out. And that’ll be good. And if we do work it out, that will be positive.”
Then he turned to Rutte, saying: “And if we don’t, it will be positive, also.”
It was Trump’s usual meaningless word salad, allowing him to sound confident and in charge without demonstrating any understanding of the policy details or the stakes involved. But Rutte was not there to humor him.
“No,” Rutte interjected, laughing at the ridiculousness of Trump’s claims.
“Just think of those cars that pour in here, and we’ll do something—” Trump continued, apparently ignoring Rutte’s pushback.
“It’s not positive!” Rutte said, continuing to laugh. “We have to work something out.”
“But it will be positive,” Trump said.
Watch the clip below:
TRUMP: “The EU… If we do work it out, that will be positive. And if we don’t, it will be positive also, because – ”
DUTCH PM RUTTE: “No.”
TRUMP: “— just think about those cars that pour in here.”
RUTTE: “It’s not positive. We have to work something out.” pic.twitter.com/KGDCkUKDSP
— Mick Krever (@mickbk) July 2, 2018
Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.