During a tense meeting at the White House in June, President Trump caught Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe off guard with a pointed remark.
“I remember Pearl Harbor,” the president said, referring to the surprise attack that propelled the United States into World War II.
Trump then launched into a blistering critique of Japan’s economic policies, according to people familiar with the conversation. He railed against the U.S. trade deficit with Japan and urged Abe to negotiate a bilateral trade deal that is more favorable to U.S. exporters of beef and automobiles.
The meeting, which left Abe exasperated, epitomized the paradoxical nature of Trump’s closest relationship with a foreign leader. [Continue reading…]