France’s diplomat in charge of economic affairs in the U.S. was impressed by President Trump’s speech to Congress and viewed Trump as a complex politician able to appeal to broad swaths of the American electorate, an email released by WikiLeaks reveals.
Renaud Lassus, who is the head of economic affairs for the French embassy, sent several white papers to Emmanuel Macron aides in early 2017 in which he evaluated the challenges presented by the new Trump administration.
The aides copied on the emails include Ismael Emelian, who co-founded the En Marche! party along with French President Emmanuel Macron, and Jean Pisani-Ferry, a top economic adviser to Macron.
In three separate emails, Lassus analyzes how France should deal with a protectionist U.S. and reviews Trump’s February speech to Congress.
“His speech also shows that his team is not only composed of incompetent neurotics, as the US press often says,” Lasso wrote in an email on March 2. The diplomat went on to say that President Trump delivered a speech not reminiscent of a “weak president”
Lassus wrote that Trump represents a “rebellion” of the “middle classes, the small people, from all walks of life” against the elites. He went on to say that Trump represents these ideas in a complex way.
“Donald Trump is the quintessence of the hybrid political animal,” Lassus remarked. “He presented yesterday in Congress, in front of the Republican leadership, an agenda that could have been of Democratic inspiration on many subjects (respect for the foundation of social protection, introduction of maternity leave, infrastructure, even trade) Traditionally republican on certain themes (deregulation) and that is far right on others (immigration).”
Julia Nista contributed reporting