In Jonathan Karl’s upcoming book, “Tired of Winning: Donald Trump and the End of the Grand Old Party,” startling revelations about former President Donald Trump’s response to a comment from former German Chancellor Angela Merkel have come to light. According to an early look shared by Politico Playbook, Merkel, not known for being a Trump supporter, delivered what could be interpreted as a back-handed compliment by comparing Trump to Adolf Hitler.
The book details that on at least two occasions, Trump recounted to a prominent member of Congress that Merkel, who privately detested him and struggled to conceal her disdain publicly, expressed amazement at the size of the crowds attending his speeches. Trump went on to claim that Merkel told him there was only one other political leader in history who ever attracted crowds as massive as his. The Trump-aligned congressman, aware of the comparison Merkel was making, found himself unable to discern whether Trump, who perceived Merkel’s words as a compliment, genuinely understood the historical reference.
Jonathan Karl, in his book, poses a thought-provoking question: “Which would be more unsettling: that he didn’t or that he did?” This revelation adds to a series of instances where Trump has been accused of praising or expressing admiration for Adolf Hitler, the notorious Nazi leader responsible for the Holocaust.
Notably, former Chief of Staff John Kelly, in his book, recalled a 2018 trip to Europe where Trump allegedly remarked about Hitler doing “a lot of good things,” attributing Germany’s economic recovery after World War I to the dictator. Another account from Peter Baker and Susan Glasser’s book, “The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021,” highlighted Trump’s comparison of U.S. generals unfavorably to their German counterparts in World War II.
At least twice, Karl writes, Trump gloated to a prominent member of Congress that Merkel — who detested the 45th president privately and had trouble hiding her scorn publicly — told him she was “amazed” by the number of people who came to see him speak, and Trump said “she told me that there was only one other political leader who ever got crowds as big as mine.” The Trump-allied congressman knew who Merkel was comparing Trump to, but couldn’t tell if Trump, who took Merkel’s words as a compliment, himself understood.
These accounts raise unsettling questions about Trump’s perspective on history and his willingness to accept or even embrace comparisons to a figure as universally condemned as Adolf Hitler. The book provides a deep dive into the complex relationship between Trump and prominent world leaders, shedding light on the often perplexing dynamics at play within the realm of international politics.