Trump Has A Problem With Time Zones

Remigio Civitarese
Agosto 14, 2018

Several times in the first year of his administration, President Donald Trump wanted to call Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the middle of the afternoon. Trump has a particularly "bizarre" interest in French President Emmanuel Macron in this regard, according to what one former national security official told Politico.

From Trump's earliest days in the White House, there have been numerous reports of his struggles to follow diplomatic protocol and apparent propensity for awkward exchanges with foreign leaders.

On the subject of being on the phone with foreign leaders, Trump is apparently baffled by time zones as well.

Donald Trump doesn't understand time zones, wants to call foreign leaders at awkward hours (for them), and doesn't recognize or know how to pronounce the names of many countries on the map, Politico is reporting.

"Trump appeared confused by Nepal and Bhutan, which lie sandwiched between India and China".

"The President has developed strong relationships and good rapports that are not only friendly, but also allow for candid conversations with many of America's closest allies", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told Politico. "He was like, 'What is this stuff in between and these other countries?'"

"When he wants to call someone, he wants to call someone", one source told Politico.

At this point, it bears noting that another anonymous White House official was unaware of such gaffes, and said that as far as he (the anonymous staffer) knows, Trump fully understood the issues and asked only reasonable and appropriate questions. He's not stopping to add up, ' the person said. 'I don't think anybody would expect him or Obama or Bush or Clinton or anybody to do that. "That's the whole reason you have a staff to say 'Yes, we'll set it up, ' and then they find a time that makes most sense". Trump, for example, allegedly referred to Nepal as "nipple" and Bhutan as "button" as aides prepped him for a meeting with India's prime minister.

"He wasn't great with recognizing that the leader of a country might be 80 or 85 years old and isn't going to be awake or in the right place at 10:30 or 11 p.m. their time", said a former Trump NSC official. "He's more impulsive that way".

A White House official said Trump is well aware of how time zones work, especially as someone who's worked in global business for years, but is often too busy to be concerned with such details. "Foreign leaders appreciate that the President is willing to take their calls day and night".

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