Don’t brag about helping Trump
Prime Minister Leo Varadkar just couldn’t stop himself from sucking up to Donald Trump, said Gene Kerrigan. “Where rich men are involved,” Ireland’s center-right lawmakers always default to obsequious, so during his recent trip to Washington, Varadkar tried to show how chummy he was with the U.S. president. During a St. Patrick’s Day lunch, Varadkar bragged that when he was tourism minister in 2014, Trump called him to complain about an unsightly wind farm being planned near a Trump hotel and golf course in Doonbeg. Varadkar said he called the local council, and poof, the wind farm was denied its permit. Not that he interfered improperly, mind you. “The president has very kindly given me credit for that,” Varadkar simpered, “although I do think it would have been refused anyway.” Back home, of course, it looked like Varadkar was boasting about engaging in corruption. Maybe he told the story because he was afraid that otherwise Trump would blurt it out with an even less flattering spin. But Varadkar did his very best to both own and disown his accommodation of the tycoon, saying in effect, “I did it, give me credit; I didn’t do it, don’t blame me.” Still, what else should we expect when our leaders meet Americans? “The ineptitude, the deceit, the two-faced playacting”—that’s typical Irish politics.