French President Macron on 'terrible' call with Trump: Don't worry how the sausage is made

  • French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Donald Trump held a reportedly "terrible" phone call on Friday.
  • Macron was asked about the awkward call during a press conference.
  • Macron deflected the question by referencing Otto Von Bismarck's famous quote comparing making laws to making sausages.
  • "As Bismarck used to say, if we explained to people how sausages were made, it’s unlikely they’d keep eating them," Macron said.

French President Emmanuel Macron employed a bit of culinary humor to deflect questions about a tense call with US President Donald Trump.

According to a CNN report, White House staffers described Macron's call with Trump last week as "terrible," as the conversation turned to the recent decision by the US president to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on imports from the European Union.

Asked about the call during a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Macron referenced the famous, if apocryphal, missive on the lawmaking process from 19th century Prussian leader Otto Von Bismarck.

"As Bismarck used to say, if we explained to people how sausages were made, it’s unlikely they’d keep eating them," the French president said. "So I like it when people see the finished meal, but I’m not convinced the kitchen commentary helps with delivering the meal or eating it."

21 PHOTOS
Trumps, Macrons participate in glitzy White House state visit
See Gallery
Trumps, Macrons participate in glitzy White House state visit
A military honor guard awaits the start of the official arrival ceremony being held by U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump for French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump stands with French President Emmanuel Macron (L) during the official arrival ceremony for Macron on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump welcome French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron during an arrival ceremony at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
U.S. President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron attend a welcoming ceremony at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron attend a welcoming ceremony at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
U.S. President Donald Trump looks at first lady Melania Trump as they host the official arrival ceremony for French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks as he and first lady Melania Trump preside over the official arrival ceremony for French President Emmanuel Macron (R) and his wife Brigitte Macron (L) on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump chats with French President Emmanuel Macron (L) during the official arrival ceremony for Macron on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron listen to the national anthems during an arrival ceremony at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
U.S. President Donald Trump salutes as he and French President Emmanuel Macron (L) review a military honor guard during the official arrival ceremony for Macron on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron gesture during an arrival ceremony at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
French President Emmanuel Macron waves as he stands on the Truman Balcony with U.S. President Donald Trump during the official arrival ceremony for the Macrons on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump welcome French President Emmanuel Macron during an arrival ceremony at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
First lady Melania Trump and Brigitte Macron attend an arrival ceremony at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
French President Emmanuel Macron kisses the hand of U.S. first lady Melania Trump as his wife Brigitte Macron looks on during the official arrival ceremony held for the Macrons by U.S. President Donald Trump (not pictured) on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and French President Emmanuel Macron walk down the colonnade at the White House following the official arrival ceremony for Macron on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Emmanuel Macron, France's president, center, listens as U.S. President Donald Trump, left, speaks at an arrival ceremony during a state visit on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, April 24, 2018. French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Washington on Monday for a three-day visit heavy on symbolism and substance as Donald Trump hosts the first official state visit of his presidency. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
French first lady Brigitte Macron and French President Emmanuel Macron walk with US President Donald Trump and US first lady Melania Trump upon arrival at Mount Vernon, the estate of the first US President George Washington, in Mount Vernon, Virginia, April 23, 2018. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP) (Photo credit should read LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 23: President Donald J. Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron plant a tree as first lady Melania Trump and Macron's wife Brigitte Macron watch on the South Lawn at the White House on Monday, April 23, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron ride in a golf cart at Mount Vernon, the estate of the first US President George Washington, in Mount Vernon, Virginia, April 23, 2018. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP) (Photo credit should read LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images)
(L-R): French first lady Brigitte Macron, French President Emmanuel Macron, US President Donald Trump, and US first lady Melania Trump arrive at Mount Vernon, the estate of the first US President George Washington, in Mount Vernon, Virginia, April 23, 2018. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP) (Photo credit should read LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Macron and other EU leaders are trying to pressure Trump over the recent tariffs in an attempt to avoid an all-out trade war. 

The White House readout of Friday's call was vague, only referencing Trump's comment on "the need to rebalance trade with Europe." By contrast, the French report said that Macron insisted that the new tariffs were "illegal." 

The call drew attention after the CNN report in which White House sources said that Macron's tough words for Trump did not go over well.

"Macron thought he would be able to speak his mind, based on the relationship," one source told CNN. "But Trump can't handle being criticized like that."

The meat-based deflection from Macron underscores a shifting dynamic in a usually tight relationship. Macron was the first foreign leader to make an official state visit to the White House and the pair'sintense handshakes have become famous.

But recent policy decisions by Trump, especially the tariffs, have threatened the once cheery pairing.

NOW WATCH: Ian Bremmer: Why the American dream doesn't exist anymore

See Also:

SEE ALSO: Justin Trudeau is going all out in his fight against Trump's tariffs

Read Full Story