“It was a difficult conversation, because he talks like he’s speaking publicly”

While the Hollande call on Jan. 28 did touch on pressing matters between the two countries — namely the fight against the Islamic State — Trump also used the exchange to vent about his personal fixations, including his belief that the United States is being taken advantage of by China and by international bodies like NATO, the official said.

At one point, Trump declared that the French can continue protecting NATO, but that the U.S. “wants our money back,” the official said, adding that Trump seemed to be “obsessing over money.”

“It was a difficult conversation, because he talks like he’s speaking publicly,” the official said. “It’s not the usual way heads of state speak to each other. He speaks with slogans and the conversation was not completely organized.”…

The phone calls to foreign leaders from France, Germany, Mexico, Russia, and Japan during Trump’s first week in office came with little guidance from the State Department, angering some at the agency, which is accustomed to briefing presidents extensively on geopolitical currents before the calls happen.