Foreign Leaders 'Must Look At' Trump The Way We Would 'Particularly Unstable Regimes,' MSNBC Guest Says

Presidential biographer and journalist Jon Meacham said he believes leaders of foreign countries view President Donald Trump in a similar manner to how Americans formerly saw unstable regimes around the world.

Meacham, who was previously the editor-in-chief of Newsweek, appeared Monday as part of a panel on MSNBC's Morning Joe program.

"I continue to think that foreign leaders must look at this presidency in the way that we used to look at particularly unstable regimes," Meacham said, pointing to international incidents involving Trump, including his recent spat with Mexico over immigration and the directive to hide the USS John S. McCain during the president's trip to Japan at the end of May.

He also said countries are probably trying to figure out who's going to be in the picture for the long term and who's not as they negotiate with Washington.

"And why would any foreign power take him at face value?" Meacham asked.

Donald Trump wearing USA hat
President Donald Trump shouts to reporters while returning to the White House on June 7 in Washington, D.C. Getty/Win McNamee

Meacham's comments were part of a discussion on Trump's recent threat to implement tariffs on Mexican imports if the country did not do more to curb the flow of undocumented Central American migrants. Although Mexico and the U.S. announced they'd reached an agreement on Friday to avert the tariffs, The New York Times reported that the deal was essentially the same as one that was made at the end of last year.

Trump also insisted on Twitter that Mexico had agreed to begin buying large amounts of U.S. agricultural products. But Mexican officials have appeared to say that wasn't part of the agreement.

The president criticized The Times and other media outlets repeatedly over the weekend, calling them "the enemy of the people" as he has previously. Trump has insisted that the agreement with Mexico is new and includes details that have not yet been revealed.

"When will the Failing New York Times admit that their front page story on the the [sic] new Mexico deal at the Border is a FRAUD and nothing more than a badly reported 'hit job' on me, something that has been going on since the first day I announced for the presidency! Sick Journalism," he wrote on Twitter Monday morning.

The Times has stuck by its reporting, pointing out that Trump has accused it many times of peddling false narratives that have later been proven to be accurate.

Trump's threat to impose tariffs on Mexico was strongly criticized by U.S. business leaders as well as Republican and Democratic lawmakers in Washington. The president had said he would implement 5 percent tariffs starting on June 10, which would then be steadily increased until they reached 25 percent, unless Mexico did more to curb the flow of Central American migrants.

Leading Republicans pointed out that such a move would have represented a massive tax increase on American consumers. They also criticized the president for combining the separate issues of trade and immigration, threatening to block such a move by the administration.