HELSINKI - Finnish media are praising the performance of the Nordic country's president at a meeting with Donald Trump as “ice-cold strong” despite the fact that the U.S. president used large chunks of their joint news conference to talk about the situation with Ukraine that has prompted an impeachment inquiry, leaving his guest sidelined at times.
Thursday's newspapers in Finland marked in unison the calmness of Finnish President Sauli Niinisto at an emotionally charged White House news conference Wednesday. They said he wisely did not interfere with U.S. domestic politics and “Trump's nightmare,” as the tabloid Iltalehti put it.
Another tabloid, Ilta-Sanomat, cited a body language expert as saying the two leaders had seemingly good chemistry. It also said Niinisto came out with honors from his meeting with the “explosive” U.S. leader.
Finland's largest newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat, noted that the news conference with the leaders showed “two parallel realities” and suggested that Trump “shout less to make reporters hear better.”
To some U.S. observers, Niinisto looked uncomfortable at times during the press conference where Trump derided the U.S. media, among other things. Yet Niinisto described the news conference later to FInnish media outlets as “very pleasant.”
After seeing footage of the news conference, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, tweeted that he felt bad for the Finnish head of state and said “Today, we are all Sauli Niinisto.”