Time for Trump to Dump Landlines?
In March 2014, the then US President Barack Obama reportedly spent a marathon — and apparently futile — 90 minutes on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin about Crimea. And that capped several weeks of multiple urgent telephonic conversations with other world leaders on the same crisis. Now his successor, President Donald Trump, has begun his own version of phone-ins with the international community, including a 50-minute, photographed telephonic natter with Mr Putin. But he has also apparently done something that heads of government are not wont to do: hang up on the leader at the other end, in this case Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Such an act is aided by the nature of the telephone. With more sophisticated means of communication at hand, it is quaint that the world’s most-powerful people do not prefer video chatting over what is now commonly referred to as a landline. The Russian supremo is famously averse to mobile phones but several other world leaders are far more tech-friendly, so Mr Trump could institute yet another break from tradition and initiate face-to-face interactions with all his new companions at the international high table. Getting them all onto his favourite social media platform, of course, would provide an alternate means of interlocution.