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

Image source Flickr

Arriving in Paris for a World War One Armistice Day centenary celebration, Trump fired off a note on Twitter saying Macron had just "suggested that Europe build its own military in order to protect itself from the U.S., China and Russian Federation".

"Very insulting", he added, "but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which the USA subsidizes greatly!"

No sooner had Trump touched down in Paris for a weekend of commemorations to mark the end of World War 1, than he fired off a tweet castigating his host over proposals to endow the European Union with its own, joint army.

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

Macron, in the interview, also blasted Trump's recent announcement that Washington would withdraw from the 1987 INF Treaty limiting nuclear weapons that U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to.

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

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Macron and other European leaders have repeatedly criticized Trump's efforts to undermine the deal, and have sought to create a special mechanism that would allow the bloc to avert US sanctions and continue trading with Iran.

The magazine says "Germany has been keen on this mechanism, which keeps efforts at joint European defence within existing EU structures".

On Saturday morning, Macron and Trump will hold bilateral talks on issues expected to include Syria and Iran before lunching with Melania and Macron's wife Brigitte. "I think it's going to be something very special".

Nevertheless, a senior French source said: "It's really important to have the British on board, not just because they have the most capable, rapidly deployable armed forces along with our own, but also because we share the same strategic culture and history of projecting force outside Europe". Early on, Macron tried to position himself as a sort of "Trump whisperer" and Trump returned the favour, hosting Macron at the first and only state dinner of his presidency. Trump and Macron had presented their relationship as a good friendship in the earlier days of Macron's ascension as president of France.

The isolationist U.S. leader has, however, ducked out of a peace conference Sunday afternoon, which Macron and Chancellor Angela Merkel intend to use as a platform for promoting multilateralism.

The US President is hoping to move past post-midterms controversy after the White House was accused of doctoring footage in support of its decision to revoke the press credentials of CNN reporter Jim Acosta.

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