During their tête-à-tête, Trump suggested to Macron that he tell the European Union they ought to negotiate with the U.S., according to a source familiar with the conversation.
Macron replied that no, actually he was not in favor of negotiating under threat.
“I read the Art of the Deal,” the French president told Trump, with a smile. “I know that we need to retaliate first so we have some leverage in the negotiation.”
Why it matters: Like many foreign leaders, Macron has learned that the only language the U.S. president understands is the un-nuanced, transactional language of dealmaking and the blunt projection of strength. It’s why Trump is drawn to strongmen and belittles those he considers “weak” like Canada’s Trudeau (whom Trump publicly refers to as “Justin.”)