- According to a new report, President Donald Trump is known to imitate Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi by putting on an Indian accent.
- But a comment about the US strategy in Afghanistan that Modi made last year stood out to Trump, and indicated to him that the world sees the US as being mired in the country with few results to show for it.
- Trump has pushed Modi to engage with the US more in Afghanistan in the past, while India is hoping to make Afghanistan a part of its own regional sphere of influence.
President Donald Trump reportedly often imitates Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s accent – but according to The Washington Post, some of the prime minister’s recent comments have changed Trump’s entire outlook on how the world views US policy.
Senior administration officials told The Post that Trump puts on Modi’s accent when imitating him in the White House. But Modi’s comments on America’s presence in Afghanistan reportedly changed Trump’s view of the war.
“Never has a country given so much away for so little in return,” Modi reportedly told Trump in the Oval Office sometime in 2017, referring to the lack of results the US has gotten from its war in Afghanistan, which has been dragging on since 2001.
Trump took the statement to mean that the world views the US as having been taken advantage of by its enemies in the country, but continued to leave most of the decision-making to the Pentagon.
Trump has previously engaged Modi on the issue of Afghanistan, demanding that India play a stronger role in providing stability in the country as part of his “regional” approach. But India’s own regional strategy, while including Afghanistan, is centered more on creating an economic zone of influence in the Indian Ocean and building closer ties with Iran.
Trump and Modi will likely cross paths again at the Davos World Economic Forum later this month.