“Like when there’s a new strange kid in the class nobody likes”

While he avoided any major gaffes or serious diplomatic breaches, Trump’s lack of rapport with European leaders raises serious questions about his ability to effectively team up with critical U.S. allies.

“Like when there’s a new strange kid in the class nobody likes,” said a senior EU official who was briefed on the closed NATO meetings in Brussels. “You behave civilly when teachers (media) watch but don’t spend time with him in private because he’s so different.”…

Trump has been at his best in one-on-one sessions, like his bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G7 with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, who spent a weekend at the Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and spoke glowingly in Sicily about his “close partnership and collaboration, and friendship” with the new president.

Another senior EU official said Trump did fine in a smaller meeting with the bloc’s top leaders, Council President Donald Tusk and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. “He was very pleasant, he was very easy going,” this official said. “He was welcoming everybody greeting everybody. ‘Thank you all guys, you did a great job.’ Very sort of American.”

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