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European Politicians Are Being More Smug Than Usual About The US Presidential Election

"If the American people choose Trump, it will have consequences worldwide, because the US election is a global election."

Posted on August 3, 2016, at 1:14 p.m. ET

Eric Thayer / Reuters

French President François Hollande says Donald Trump makes him sick.

Hollande was referring to the controversy between Trump and the Muslim parents of a slain US soldier, when he told reporters in Paris on Tuesday that the Republican nominee's "excesses make you want to retch."

The French president called Trump's comments about the slain soldier's parents "hurtful and humiliating" and said “if the American people choose Trump, it will have consequences worldwide, because the US election is a global election.”

It is not the first time Hollande has expressed disdain for Trump. In the immediate aftermath of a string of terrorist attacks in France, Trump said he wouldn't go to the country because “France is no longer France.”

Last week the French president responded that “France will always be France” and said the country would always stay true to its values.

La France sera toujours la France. Elle porte toujours des idéaux, valeurs et principes qui font que nous sommes reconnus dans le monde. 🇫🇷

Hollande is not the only European leader to have an opinion about Trump.

Italian PM Matteo Renzi.
Franco Origlia / Getty Images

Italian PM Matteo Renzi.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has said on several occasions that if he was an American, he would vote for Hillary Clinton. Although he said he would respect whatever result emerges from November's election, he would prefer Clinton as a commander-in-chief.

Renzi told his own party last month that the US election is a match between fear and hope and courage — and said it would be a grave error to underestimate voters' fears. He has also dismissed comparisons between the current Republican candidate and former US President Ronald Reagan: “Trump exploits fears about the future, evoking a dark picture of America. Reagan spoke of opportunity, and hope.”

Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni (left) and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
Axel Schmidt / Reuters

Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni (left) and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

In Germany, Europe's largest economy, Chancellor Angela Merkel has so far refrained from making remarks about Trump.

At her annual press conference last month, she was asked if she had nightmares about a Trump presidency. “I can answer that question with a clear, ‘No,’” Merkel replied.

However, the German foreign minister has been less diplomatic. Frank-Walter Steinmeier warned that a Trump presidency would lead to “many uncertainties for the transatlantic relationship.”

Steinmeier called Trump’s view of the US as a country surrounded by inner and outer enemies “grotesque.”

“The fact that a presidential candidate attacks the entire political elite, even if he is part of it, and receives support for these attacks, worries me a lot,” he said.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has also publicly said he wants Clinton to become president. "I want Hillary Clinton to become president. There's no doubt about it," he said in an interview with Aftonbladet.

He said a Trump presidency would change his country’s relationship with the US. “It would be different and not for the better," he said.

One of Lofven's predecessors, Carl Bildt, went even further, tweeting that Trump would be a threat to the security of the West.

I never thought a serious candidate for US President could be a serious threat against the security of the West. But that’s where we are.

Last month, the head of NATO hit back at Trump's suggestion that members of the military alliance must fulfill their obligations to the US if they want protection.

Responding directly to Trump's remarks, NATO Secretary General‎ Jens Stoltenberg told BuzzFeed News that “solidarity among allies is a key value for NATO. This is good for European security and good for US security. We defend one another."

But not every leader in Europe wants Trump to lose.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban
Sergio Perez / Reuters

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who ordered razor-wire fences along Hungary's border to stop migrants from entering the country, told a crowd at an event in Romania last month that Trump is the better option. "I am not Donald Trump's campaigner," he said. "I never thought that the idea would ever occur to me that he is the better of the open options for Europe and Hungary.

"I listened to [Trump] and I have to tell you that he made three proposals to stop terrorism. And as a European, I myself could not have drawn up better what Europe needs."

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