Foreign Leaders Get Advice For Dealing With Donald Trump

As Donald Trump begins his first foreign trip with a stop in Saudi Arabia, foreign leaders are being told to stroke his ego by complimenting him on the size of his Electoral College win, among other things:

Foreign officials meeting President Trump during his first overseas trip are being told to praise him for winning the Electoral College last year, the New York Times reported Friday.

Embassies and leaders who have met with Trump have been speaking among themselves and with other dignitaries about how to handle the new president, and a number of themes have emerged, the report said.

Among them are suggestions to compliment Trump on his election win, and compare him favorably to former President Obama; not to expect him to know your country’s history or hot-button issues; and make a short presentation tailored to his attention span, and don’t try to bring up a long list of issues.

“If you were prepping people for Donald Trump, the two or three points would be one, bear in mind this is still a guy who focuses on wins,” Peter Westmacott, a former British ambassador to the U.S., told the Times.”Secondly, he is a deal maker, a pragmatist. Third, this is a guy with a limited attention span. He absolutely won’t listen to visitors droning on for a half-hour — or longer if they need an interpreter.”

Slate has a more amusing take on the trip.

FILED UNDER: Donald Trump, Politicians, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.


  1. CSK says:

    Don’t expect him to know anything about your country.

    Don’t expect him to have the remotest grasp of geopolitical issues.

    Don’t expect him to speak your language. He can barely speak his own.

    And have plenty of incinerated steak with ketchup on hand.

  2. James Pearce says:

    Dumb people think Trump can’t be bought because he’s so rich.

    Smart people know he can be bought, and they know the price is mere flattery.

  3. CSK says:

    Keep all attractive women between the ages of 15 and 50 at more than arm’s length from him.

  4. Janis Gore says:

    Toby Keith is performing at a men-only concert in Riyadh:

    One twitter wag said, “I thought we weren’t supposed to torture Muslims.”

  5. Janis Gore says:
  6. Stormy Dragon says:


    NSC officials include Trump’s name as often as possible so he reads memos: report

    NSC officials insert the president’s name in “as many paragraphs as we can because he keeps reading if he’s mentioned,” the report said.

  7. Janis Gore says:

    My favorite, a five-story portrait of Trump projected on the hotel in Riyadh:

    Those folks know how to do it up.

  8. CSK says:

    @Janis Gore:

    You just know he’s positively orgasmic over this. And he’s going to try and figure out a way to do the same thing to Mount Rushmore.

  9. Janis Gore says:

    @CSK: Rushmore’s in the boonies. Pick a nice building in NYC.

  10. Janis Gore says:

    Thing is, the Trumpkins are pissing themselves because they think this shows the high esteem the Saudis hold for Trump.

  11. CSK says:

    @Janis Gore:

    I was thinking D.C. Maybe his new hotel?

  12. Janis Gore says:

    Ask Ivanka.

  13. Janis Gore says:
  14. Janis Gore says:

    The stereotype of crafty Arabs ain’t for nothing.

  15. gVOR08 says:

    Gawd this stuff is embarrassing. Read someone saying Merkel and Macron now view themselves as sharing leadership of the free world, now that we’ve quit.

  16. Janis Gore says:

    The Germans win after all.

  17. Franklin says:

    Funny. No, wait. Sad!

  18. Janis Gore says:

    And the mannequin Melania, just a nice quiet filthy rich high maintenance woman who has to move to the ugly people of DC. She has to leave her world class infrastructure in New York behind.

    Palm Beach was okay, but it’s hard to call in your colorist from the White House.

    Remember when John Edwards got a $200 haircut? Or John McCain wore Ferragamos, or something?

  19. An Interested Party says:

    This is truly pathetic…that a president of the United States would need to be treated like some tender little snowflake by other world leaders…I wonder how many of those who voted for Trump are embarrassed yet…