The French president’s remark about Donald Trump may not be original, but it contains more than a soupçon of truth

I was disappointed to find that the French president’s remark this week, comparing a difficult diplomatic conversation with Donald Trump to a sausage (because it’s best not to know what’s inside), goes back to Bismarck. I thought President Macron had made an original joke about diplomacy that could survive translation into more or less any language – something not many world leaders have managed to do.

I do not consider it possible that there was something really disgusting in the Macron-Trump sausage, something that would cause legitimate revulsion if it was revealed. That is possible in diplomacy, of course – but, thank God, it is rare. An example would be the Anglo-French-Israeli collusion to go to war with Egypt in 1956; the British and French governments destroyed their records, but fortunately for history the Israelis did not. Another example might be the Blair-Bush exchanges about war in Iraq.

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Related: Macron says Trump call is like sausages: best to not know what’s inside

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