French President Emmanuel Macron deflected questions about a reportedly awkward call with US President Donald Trump with a reference to Otto Von Bismarck's famous quip about the making of sausages.
French President Emmanuel Macron employed a bit of culinary humor to deflect questions about a tense call with US President Donald Trump.
According to a CNN report, White House staffers described Macron's call with Trump las week as "terrible," as the conversation turned to the recent decision by the US president to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on imports from the European Union.
Asked about the call during a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Macron referenced the famous, if apocryphal, missive on the lawmaking process from 19th century Prussian leader Otto Von Bismarck.
"As Bismarck used to say, if we explained to people how sausages were made, it’s unlikely they’d keep eating them," the French president said. "So I like it when people see the finished meal, but I’m not convinced the kitchen commentary helps with delivering the meal or eating it."
Macron and other EU leaders are trying to pressure Trump over the recent tariffs in an attempt to avoid an all-out trade war.
The White House readout of Friday's call was vague, only referencing Trump's comment on "the need to rebalance trade with Europe." By contrast, the French report said that Macron insisted that the new tariffs were "illegal."
The call drew attention against after the CNN report in which White House sources said that Macron's tough words for Trump did not go over well.
"Macron thought he would be able to speak his mind, based on the relationship," one source told CNN. "But Trump can't handle being criticized like that."
The meat-based deflection from Macron underscores a shifting dynamic in a usually tight relationship. Macron was the first foreign leader to make an official state visit to the White House and the pair's intense handshakes have become famous.