“FANTASTIC COUNTRY, fantastic place of fantastic people,” President-elect Trump said to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan.
What could go wrong with such a greeting? It’s Pakistan, so, a lot, which the Trump team found out when the Pakistanis leaked a transcript of the conversation.
After first speaking with nine other leaders, Mr. Trump called British Prime Minister Theresa May and is quoted in the New York Times offering the oddest of invitations to visit: “If you travel to the U.S., you should let me know.”
More from the Times
Mr. Trump’s call with President Nursultan A. Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan raised similar questions.
Mr. Nazarbayev has ruled his country with an iron hand since 1989, first as head of the Communist Party and later as president after Kazakhstan won its independence from the Soviet Union. In April 2015, he won a fifth term, winning 97.7 percent of the vote and raising suspicions of fraud.
The Kazakh government, in its account of Mr. Trump’s conversation, said he had lavished praise on the president for his leadership of the country over the last 25 years. “D. Trump stressed that under the leadership of Nursultan Nazarbayev, our country over the years of independence had achieved fantastic success that can be called a ‘miracle,’” it said.
Anyone in the position to talk to foreign leaders would need a State Department briefing and talking points, among other things. Donald J. Trump needs this guidance more than anyone ever to be in the position of president-elect.
Recently, Mr. Trump not only broke all protocoal with Japan’s Prime Minister Abe by having his daughter Ivanka in the room, but reporting is that there was no set agenda or briefing beforehand.
It’s early but this is just the tip of the Holy S*#! iceberg we’re all staring at directly ahead.
And now we’ve got Russia’s Foreign Ministry accusing the Ukraine of “sabotaging Trump” over — wait for it — Paul Manafort.