There's actually a far more important and consequential detail included in this report from the Wall Street Journal, but if we can't have a laugh now and then we risk losing their mounds, so let's get to it.
The Journal reports that during his meeting with Trump on Tuesday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker communicated with Trump using cue cards and openly implied that Trump is an idiot.
“If you want to be stupid,” he told Mr. Trump, “I can be stupid, as well.”
Backing up his points, Mr. Juncker flipped through more than a dozen colorful cue cards with simplified explainers, the senior EU official said. Each card had at most three figures about a specific topic, such as trade in cars or standards for medical devices.
“We knew this wasn’t an academic seminar,” the EU official said. “It had to be very simple.”
This tells me that Juncker gives exactly zero fucks about appealing to Trump's ego or even treating him like an equal. Trump isn't an equal.
Now, we have to talk about the more serious news.
The pattern we've seen over the past six months in which one of Trump's advisers tries to make a deal only to be undercut by another adviser is apparently continuing to play out just as we thought it would.
Trump didn't announce a real deal with Jean-Claude Juncker, only that he had agreed to talk about making a possible deal, but even that looks shaky at the moment.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Trump's top trade representative Robert Lighthizer is having none of it.
[Larry Kudlow] had met with a member of Mr. Juncker’s team the previous evening and hinted at a possible deal over Diet Cokes at a D.C. hotel.
Still, when EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström met with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Wednesday morning, odds of an agreement looked remote. Mr. Lighthizer seemed unaware of the overture made by Mr. Kudlow the night before and insisted on issues that were a no-go for the Europeans, such as opening the entire agricultural sector to U.S. firms, the EU official said.
Mr. Kudlow seemed to “have the ear of the president,” the EU official said.
Kudlow does not have Trump's ear, but Lighthizer does.
The EU has tentatively agreed to buy more American soybeans, but that's not a "deal." It was going to happen anyway. American farmers have already pivoted toward exporting soybeans to Europe because China has stopped buying them in retaliation for Trump's tariffs, but Europe will never buy as much as China previously did.
Juncker knows that, but Trump almost certainly doesn't. Trump is 10 steps behind virtually any other world leader he talks to.