US President Donald Trump called EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker “nasty” on Tuesday (18 September). But there is no need for the Europhiles to get all riled up. The remark was meant as a compliment.
In fact, the US President even praised the top EU bureaucrat for his negotiating skills. “He’s tough, he’s nasty, the kind of guy I want negotiating for me,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “He’s a tough, tough cookie.”
Of course, following his rather strange assessment of Mr Juncker, revealing his business-like style rather than his diplomatic approach, Trump followed up by lauding his even greater knack at negotiating.
Referring to US demands for renegotiated trade arrangements with the European Union, Trump said Juncker refused three times before a deal was struck in July.
“I said that’s OK. We don’t have to renegotiate any longer. We are going to put a tariff on all of the millions of cars you send into the United States,” Trump recalled with a satisfied smile.
According to Trump, Juncker “was in my office so quickly from Europe that I didn’t know they had airplanes that flew that fast. I said where did you find this plane?”
Trump, speaking alongside visiting Polish President Andrzej Duda, repeated his insistence that Washington is right to tear up longstanding trade agreements with close allies, as well as China.
The European Commission Chief Spokesperson, Margaritis Schinas chimed with a humourous tweet saying Mr Juncker was a tough negotiator but was not available for hire.
1. Tough ? -> yes
2. Nasty ? -> certainly not
3. The kind of guy I want negotiating for me ? -> sorry not available
— Margaritis Schinas (@MargSchinas) September 18, 2018