Polish President Andrzej Duda visited the White House on Tuesday, and although he was pleased with the visit, many other polish citizens were left less than thrilled. In fact, Trump managed to offend the Poles so deeply that the fallout was all over Polish news sites on Wednesday morning.
At the end of the meeting between Duda and Trump, the two leaders signed a strategic partnership pact to boost defense, energy, trade and security ties. The moment was captured in a photo that was…uh…awkward.
Polish radio correspondent Pawel Zuchowski commented, “It’s nice of President Trump that he moved a bit, because otherwise our president would have had to sign the document on his knees.”
International diplomacy scholar Janusz Sibora called the incident an “offense” in an interview with Gazeta, a polish news site, which also compared the meeting with Trump’s ceremonial signing of an agreement with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un earlier this year, when both leaders sat at the same table.
“The message is clear: Americans do not respect Poles,” Sibora said. “If we sign such an important document in that way, we should ask ourselves whether this wasn’t detrimental to the honor of Poland.”
Pawel Zalewski, of the opposition liberal-conservative party wrote, “Signing a Polish-American declaration at the desk of the American president, while he is sitting, and [the Polish president] is standing is a symbolic confirmation [of] @AndrzejDuda as a customer [of] @realDonaldTrump. We have never been so low.”
Even Former President and Nobel Prize winner, Lech Walesa had a negative opinion of the encounter. Walesa appeared to troll Duda on Facebook with a photo of Walesa sitting with Trump standing next to him. “You find difference,” read the caption.
Znajdź różnice.You find difference.
Posted by Lech Wałęsa on Tuesday, September 18, 2018
There was no sign, however, that Duda himself was bothered by the photo. He rejected the criticism and posted a more pleasant view of the visit on Twitter, hailing it as a success.
You can follow me on Twitter @maymepolitizoom