Perhaps German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her team knew that President Donald Trump was quite a character. So when it came to preparing to meet him for the first time, Merkel decided to check one of Trump’s most in-depth interviews. And it just so happens that it was for Playboy.
If there is one famous saying that comes to mind, it’s “know your enemy.” In this case, however, it’s more of know your ally. As for Merkel, she believed in leaving nothing to chance.
According to a report from Reuters, Merkel spent a great deal of time preparing for her latest trip to Washington. She went over all of his speeches and interviews, one of which was the Q&A he did for Playboy magazine in 1990. Back then, he had floated some controversial ideas he is now making a part of his presidential platform.
Playboy interview offered a glimpse of future Trump presidency.
For instance, Trump made his position on international trade clear early on. He once remarked, “I’d throw a tax on every Mercedes-Benz rolling into this country and on all Japanese products, and we’d have wonderful allies again.” The discussion was part of what he said he would do if he were president.
Today, Trump is threatening to raise tariffs on imported cars from Germany. The tax is proposed to be as high as 35 percent. “I’d throw a tax on every Mercedes-Benz rolling into this country and on all Japanese products, and we’d have wonderful allies again.”
Trump didn’t always like Russia.
Back then, Trump had said he wouldn’t trust Russia. Today, however, the stance seems to have changed. On the other hand, Merkel has always made Germany’s position on Russia very clear. She had even spoken with Trump about Ukraine during a phone call in January, according to Spiegel Online.
Last week, the two world leaders finally met for the first time. Their meeting was interesting, to say the least. One cannot forget that Trump seemingly refused to shake hands with Merkel at one point, despite continued requests from the press. So perhaps with all the research done beforehand, Merkel was expecting Trump to refuse a handshake all along.