Trump Takes on the World

Rating 7.9
Streamer BBC iPlayer
Seasons 1
Episodes 3 x 60 mins

We knew this was coming. To reference Nellie the Elephant, he’s “packed his bags with a trumpety trump, Trump, Trump, Trump…”and left the White House. So naturally, we’ll now be getting a load of docs reflecting on the turbulent four years during which Donald Trump was president. Buckle up.

Now he’s out of office, all sorts of people have come out the woodwork, ready to tell-all on their experience of working with one of America’s more controversial presidents. And this latest three-parter from the BBC is miked-up, and ready to listen. It has quite the list of participants – among them Francois Hollande, Jeremy Hunt, Jim Mattis, Kim Darroch and John Bolton, all spilling the beans on their time with President 45.

And by Jove, they’ve got a lot to say – in fact, some of the time it comes across a bit like a school hallway slagging off session. Bolton in particular provides an enlightening take, attempting to explain Trump’s more interesting decisions, whilst Fiona Hill describes her response to the former president taking the side of the Russians when asked about election interference – she admits she considered faking a fainting episode to get out of it. We’re not sure we blame her.

This candour from the contributors made for a brilliant watch, shining a light on an unpredictable presidency without shying away from the really ridiculous parts.

The Telegraph’s Antia Singh loved this, saying: “as a study of international relations, it was useful stuff. But it was also a comical portrait of an odd little man with pathologically bad manners,” and praising the series for taking us “beyond the news bulletins.” And the Independent’s Ed Cumming is with her, giving it a full five stars and calling it a “frank, convincing portrait not just of Trump, but of the world of summits and press conferences in which these people operate.” Suzi Feay in the Financial Times joins Cumming in giving it five stars, saying of those interviewed: “it’s fun just to look at their faces as they recount their experiences with this ‘very unique personality’.”

First shown February 2021.

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