Trump on Juncker: ‘He’s tough, he’s nasty, he’s a tough cookie’

President Donald J. Trump (C) meets with President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker (C-L), in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 25 July 2018. [Pool/EPA/EFE]

US President Donald Trump called EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker “nasty” on Tuesday (18 September) – but it was meant as a compliment.

“He’s tough, he’s nasty, the kind of guy I want negotiating for me,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “He’s a tough, tough cookie.”

Trump’s unusual assessment of Juncker — more real estate developer style than diplomatic — was then followed by an equally Trumpian boast regarding his own, even greater negotiating smarts.

Referring to US demands for renegotiated trade arrangements with the European Union, Trump said Juncker refused three times before a deal was struck in July.

“I said that’s OK. We don’t have to renegotiate any longer. We are going to put a tariff on all of the millions of cars you send into the United States,” Trump recalled with a satisfied smile.

According to Trump, Juncker “was in my office so quickly from Europe that I didn’t know they had airplanes that flew that fast. I said where did you find this plane?”

Trump, speaking alongside visiting Polish President Andrzej Duda, repeated his insistence that Washington is right to tear up longstanding trade agreements with close allies, as well as China.

Poland requests permanent US base, suggests naming it ‘Fort Trump’

President Donald Trump said on Tuesday (18 September) the United States is considering a request from Poland for a permanent US military presence in the fellow NATO country, acknowledging that he shares Poland’s concerns about possible Russian aggression.

“Our country has been abused, taken advantage of, by virtually every country that it does business with,” Trump said.

Juncker’s chief spokesperson Margaritis Schinas twitted in an obvious reply to Trump.

Last June Juncker disclosed that during the meeting of leaders of the Group of Seven major powers in Canada Trump called him “a brutal killer”.

Trump told me "You're a brutal killer", Juncker says

Jean-Claude Juncker has been called many things during his premiership of Luxembourg and presidency of the European Commission, but probably never what he says US President Donald Trump called him at the weekend: “a brutal killer”.

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