Despite reassurance from President Barack Obama, foreign leaders are convinced that Donald Trump will be the next U.S. president. The notion has them in an outright panic.
Over two dozen officials from the U.S. and foreign governments have said that Trump is the starting point for nearly every government-to-government interactions. From phone calls to meetings and private dinners, world leaders are looking for explanations from Obama, VP Joe Biden and other members of the White House. Ambassadors for the United States are still unsure of how to respond.
“They’re scared and they’re trying to understand how real this is,” says one American official who has been in contact with foreign leaders. “They’re all sort of incredulous.”
It’s gotten to the point where President Obama has developed a speech to reassure world leaders and calm their nerves. He gives a rundown on how Trump could still lose the nomination, and the reassures that Hillary Clinton can beat the billionaire in the general election.
The Obama administration has been downplaying Trump’s odds of winning a presidency for six months now.
Peter Mandelson, former British Cabinet member, says, “Most people said that he didn’t have the wit, wisdom or wealth to get very far in the primaries. And they’ve been wrong.”
World leaders are most frightened about what will happen to their trade deals, arms deals, alliances and international funding. Many are concerned that a Trump presidency may lead to America becoming an isolationist, which could be harmful for both the country and the rest of the world.