“He has always been obsessed that people are laughing at the president. From the mid-’80s, he’s said: ‘The world is laughing at us. They think we’re fools,’ ” said Thomas Wright, a Europe analyst at the Brookings Institution. “It’s never been true, but he’s said it about every president. It’s the first time I’m aware of that people actually laughed at a president. I think it is going to drive him absolutely crazy. It will play to every insecurity he has.”
“On one hand, you feel, ‘Oh, God, how awful that the American president is being laughed at on the world stage,’ ” said Julie Smith, who served as deputy national security adviser to Vice President Joe Biden.
“But on the other hand, you kind of feel good that Trump was finally escaping the bubble of political rallies that continually gives him the impression that everyone agrees with the false claims he is making,” said Smith, who watched Trump’s speech from Berlin, where she is spending a year as a fellow at the Bosch Academy. “There was a moment I thought to myself, ‘This is good that the president is being exposed to how the rest of the world sees him.’ ”