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Donald Trump’s Biggest Insults to World Leaders in 2018, From Threats of War to Throwing Candy

It would be difficult to document all the insults lobbed by President Donald Trump in 2018.

From attacking Democrats and the media, to blasting fellow Republicans and foreign leaders, going on the offensive has long been a signature strategy of the president. Below, Newsweek has highlighted some of Trump’s most notable attacks on the leaders of nations that have traditionally been closely allied to the United States, as well as those directed at international rivals.

GettyImages-971491304 In this photo provided by the German Government Press Office (BPA), German Chancellor Angela Merkel deliberates with President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the official agenda on the second day of the G7 summit on June 9 in Charlevoix, Canada Bundesregierung via Getty Images

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

At the end of the G7 summit in June, Trump slammed the leader of Canada—Washington’s closest ally—as “very dishonest and weak.” The president made the attack against Trudeau over the issue of trade, angered at criticism that came from his Canadian counterpart during a press conference alongside French President Emmanuel Macron.

A spokesperson for Trudeau responded at the time saying: “The prime minister said nothing he hasn't said before, both in public and in private conversations with the President.”

Emmanuel Macron, President of France

After Macron suggested in November that the European Union should build a unified military to protect against threats from China, Russia and even the actions of the United States, Trump went on the offensive, attacking the French leader’s low approval rating.

“Emmanuel suffers from a very low Approval Rating in France, 26%, and an unemployment rate of almost 10%,” Trump tweeted at the time. “He was just trying to get onto another subject,” he said, while also appearing to nod to the French far-right, saying: “there is no country more Nationalist than France.”

Macron responded by pointing to the long alliance between the U.S. and France. He added: “Between allies, respect is due. I don't think the French expect me to respond to tweets but to continue this important history."

GettyImages-1040343890 Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May attend a Girl Education event at UN headquarters during the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York on September 25 AMR ALFIKY/AFP/Getty Images

Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany

Trump has frequently targeted Germany's leadership in 2018. In June, the president took aim at Merkel’s government, saying that “the people of Germany are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition.” The same month, Trump reportedly threw Starburst candy at the German leader during a G7 meeting, telling her: “Don’t say I never give you anything.”

Merkel and other German leaders have responded to the increasingly tenuous relationship with Washington by saying they can no longer “rely” on the White House. “The times in which we can fully count on others are somewhat over,” the chancellor said in May.

Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

As May faced significant backlash from within the United Kingdom and her own Conservative political party over ongoing Brexit negotiations, Trump joined the chorus of critics in July. During an interview with British tabloid The Sun, the president said the prime minister “wrecked” Brexit. He said he’d personally given May advice on how to proceed with an EU deal but she’d ignored his recommendations, calling her decision “very unfortunate.”

However, when asked about the comments by reporters later, Trump referred to his own interview with The Sun as “fake news.”

Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan

During an August meeting with Abe, Trump reportedly referenced Japan’s World War II attacks on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii as a warning. Diplomats told The Washington Post that the president told the Japanese prime minister: "I remember Pearl Harbor,” while also saying the meeting between the two leaders was “tense.”

GettyImages-1075017124 President Donald Trump looks at Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe after a photo on the opening day of Argentina G20 Summit on November 30 in Buenos Aires, Argentina Daniel Jayo/Getty Images

Hassan Rouhani, President of Iran

In July, Trump tweeted an all-caps warning to the Rouhani, the president of traditional U.S. foe, Iran.

“YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS! [sic],” Trump wrote.

The president’s remarks came after Rouhani gave a speech, in which he said that war with the U.S. would be “the mother of all wars.” However, the Iranian leader also insisted that “peace with Iran is the mother of all peace.”

Vladimir Putin, President of Russia

Although Trump’s unusually positive relationship with Putin has drawn substantial criticism, Trump delivered a rare rebuke of the Kremlin leader over his support for Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad back in April. Following a chemical weapons attack allegedly carried out by Assad’s forces, Trump slammed Putin as “responsible” for the deaths of “women and children” in the “mindless” assault.

GettyImages-1000090928 Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Donald Trump attend a meeting in Helsinki on July 16 BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

Bashar al-Assad, President of Syria

In his attack on Putin, Trump also called Syria’s president an “animal.” He warned that there would be a “big price to pay,” calling the attack “another humanitarian disaster for no reason whatsoever. SICK! [sic]”

The U.S. then launched a series of strikes on Syrian targets in conjunction with France and the U.K. Trump also referred to Assad as a “mass murderer” when announcing the attack.

Nicolas Maduro, President of Venezuela

On the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in September, Trump threatened that the U.S. could easily overthrow Maduro’s government.

“It’s a regime that, frankly, could be toppled very quickly by the military if the military decides to do that,” he told reporters. The Trump administration has also labeled Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua the “troika of tyranny.”

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