The US State Department is seen in Washington, DC.
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Trump administration struggles with undiplomatic diplomats

Across much of the planet, Donald Trump clearly isn’t popular, and it probably doesn’t help that he’s dispatched some ambassadors who’ve created international controversies of their own.

Peter Hoekstra, for example, the ambassador to the Netherlands, ran into trouble almost immediately after assuming the role. David Friedman, meanwhile, the ambassador to Israel, has politicized his post in ways without modern precedent. Richard Grenell, the ambassador to Germany, has caused two international incidents in less than a month – and some officials in Berlin are talking publicly about whether he should be asked to leave.

The New York Times  reported today, “President Trump has made a trademark of upending many of the diplomatic traditions that have defined American foreign policy for decades, angering a host of longtime allies. Now, a growing number of his ambassadors are doing the same.”

But don’t worry, the Trump administration knows just what to say to put things right.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert on Tuesday cited the D-Day invasion during an answer about the current state of US-German relations.

“We have a very strong relationship with the government of Germany,” Nauert said. “Looking back in the history books, today is the 71st anniversary of the speech that announced the Marshall Plan. Tomorrow is the anniversary of the D-Day invasion. We obviously have a very long history with the government of Germany, and we have a strong relationship with the government of Germany.”

I imagine being the State Department spokesperson in this administration is difficult, and so I try to be sympathetic toward Nauert, a former Fox News personality, who is obviously in a tough job.

But, c’mon.

It’s not enough that the Trump administration dispatched a notorious Internet troll to be the U.S. ambassador in Berlin; the State Department found it necessary to point to D-Day as an example of our relationship with Germany?

In case anyone – say, Heather Nauert, for example – has forgotten, the D-Day invasion was part our campaign to liberate France from Nazi occupation. Or put another way, on D-Day, Germans weren’t our allies.

Has the United States enjoyed a long relationship with Germany? Yes. Does D-Day serve as a helpful representation of that relationship? No.