Donald Trump has taken the diplomatic rule book and torn it apart page by page. Over the last 18 months Presidents, Prime Ministers and their advisers have become used to his shoot-from-the-lip style that disregarded the conventional niceties usually followed when leaders meet.
“He is the one man wrecking machine” Former US diplomat Anthony Gardner Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and Justin Trudeau are among those statesman who have tried – and failed – to relate to the man who appears to regard international diplomacy as a global version of negotiating real estate deals.
But Trump’s latest intervention is on a whole new level. Normally visiting leaders sidestep questions about the internal politics of other countries. That is not Trump’s approach as he regards no subject, however sensitive and in whatever part of the world, as off limits.
But what is extraordinary about his interview in the Sun is that he not only intervened in the Brexit debate, but came down unambiguously against the stance being pursued by the woman rolling out the red carpet for him. It also came within hours of her publishing the controversial White Paper which she hopes will provide a basis for talks with Brussels.
And he delivered a wounding personal jibe at her personal negotiating style. But Trump will be unfazed by the furore and looks set to pursue the same unscripted path regardless of the diplomatic damage.