Trump Begins Paris Visit With Attack on France’s Emmanuel Macron

Pauline Gross
November 10, 2018

President Trump on Friday lashed out at French President Emmanuel Macron - slamming him on Twitter for suggesting that Europe create its own military to protect it from Russia, China and the US.

President Trump is firing back at his French counterpart, after he suggested Europe should build a military to protect itself from the U.S. "Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which the United States subsidises greatly!"

He is set to spend the weekend in Paris to commemorate the centennial of the end of World War I.

At that meeting, Mr Trump would not say whether he believed Mr Putin or U.S. intelligence agencies about their conclusions about Russia's interference with the 2016 presidential election.

The relationship between Trump and Macron, once described as a "bromance", has long since soured amid the United States imposing steep tariffs on EU imports and threatening European businesses with secondary sanctions for dealing with Iran. Mr. Trump's visit comes on the heels of midterm elections in which Americans delivered a split referendum on his presidency, keeping the Senate in his party's control but ceding the House to opposition Democrats.

For Sunday's armistice anniversary, Mr. Trump was to join world leaders at a ceremony in the shadow of the Arc de Triomphe.

White House officials have said that Mr Trump would make clear the importance of America to European safety and security while on his trip.

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Trump, who has pushed North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to pay more for their common defense and not rely so heavily on the United States, complained.

Proposals for a full EU army with a joint command - a pet project of European federalists - remain deeply sensitive, however, among EU members anxious to defend their sovereignty.

France is the strongest and most vocal proponent of an European Union army but Germany has also tentatively endorsed Mr Macron's proposals for a joint command structure for military interventions.

Trump's tweet just after landing in Paris that was highly critical of Macron is expected to strain the US-French relationship. "I think it's going to be something very special".

"We won't protect Europeans if we don't decide to have a real European army", he added. Although leaders like Mr Macron will not likely take kindly to the tone in the United States president's tweet.

US National Security Advisor John Bolton Friday downplayed Trump's decision not to attend the inaugural Paris Peace Forum - to be attended by Putin and Erdogan - telling reporters in Paris the president had "a lot of pressing issues" to attend to.

Other reports by GizPress

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