I felt almost sorry for Donald Trump this week as he kissed, stroked, hugged, and lavished endless praise on visiting French President Emmanuel Macron during his three day visit to Washington.

Trump looks a bit more crazed each day as the Russia investigation edges closer to some dark conclusion. His personal lawyer, keeper of the president’s skeletons, is being investigated separately. And a porn star continues to twist the knife with allegations Donald had an affair with her that he paid to hush up.

Unable to claim many successes during his 15-month presidency, he is beset by criticism that he behaves like an unpopular school kid, desperate for someone to like him: “Look……..you can play with my toy …… it’s called White House…..we can have anything we want to eat ……. a real banquet.”

It was cringe-inducing to watch Trump launch his touch-feely charm offensive while all the time Macron was playing him like a skilled fly fisherman who has hooked a large trout and is patiently reeling it in.

Macron had impressed Trump last year with French pomp and splendour and a military parade on Bastille Day that so bowled over the American president that he has instructed the US should put on a similar show in DC this year.

The last thing Trump’s red-neck, blue-collar core supporters in rustbelt cities or spent coal-mining communities expected to see was their tough-talking hero prancing around kissing a French man and lovingly brushing dandruff off his guest’s suit to ensure he looks “perfect”.

Trump wanted to show that a world-leader type not only took the US president seriously but actually liked him.  Trump used the term “special relationship” – usually reserved to describe the relationship between the UK and America – to describe the new best friendship, with America’s “oldest ally” that he was forging right before TV viewers’ eyes.

It must have been devastating for Trump when he listened to Le Big Mac’s address to Congress where it turned out that his French pal disagreed with most of Trump’s positions on key issues like the Iran nuclear treaty, protectionist trade policy, climate change, nationalism and populism.

No French leader has probably received such a warm welcome among the majority of Americans because his speech re-affirmed the values that most Americans hold dear – including just being decent to your fellow man.

Macron is smart enough to know that Trump – who he described as “predictable” – will probably reject most of the advice the French president gave and that, for instance, Trump will abrogate the Iranian treaty thus stirring up another Middle East hornets nest that France and the EU will have to deal with.

But after putting on such a show of affection it will be difficult for Trump to slag off Macron.

Britain, mired in Brexit problems and Chancellor Angela Merkel less powerful than at any time previously in her leadership of Germany means that Macron, for the moment, is the only person who can speak to Trump for a Europe that is changing before our eyes.

France will not replace Britain as America’s “special relationship” friend – there really are too many cultural, historical and fiscal reasons for why that bond will endure.

But Macron has done a service for not only his country but for Europe and the majority of Americans by telling it to Trump like it is.