Macron has ‘shed any il­lu­sion’ of Trump


U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron met Satur­day amid ten­sions over Macron’s call for a “true Eu­ro­pean army” — re­marks the U.S. pres­i­dent deemed “very in­sult­ing” mo­ments af­ter he landed in Paris for First World War com­mem­o­ra­tion cer­e­monies this week­end.

There were some vis­i­ble signs of strain be­tween the two men Satur­day even as they ex­changed warm words at the start of their bi­lat­eral meet­ing at Elysée Palace.

Ap­peal­ing to Trump’s “Amer­ica First” agenda, Macron stressed pub­licly that Eu­ro­pean na­tions in the NATO al­liance should pay more in de­fence — an at­tempt to soothe Trump over one of his con­stant ir­ri­ta­tions. Call­ing Trump “my good friend,” Macron pro­claimed “great sol­i­dar­ity” be­tween the two na­tions and said the lead­ers will dis­cuss a litany of is­sues dur­ing their one-on-one meet­ing, in­clud­ing Iran, Syria, Ye­men, trade and cli­mate change.

Trump re­cip­ro­cated Macron’s warm tone, telling the French leader that we “have be­come very good friends” and that the two coun­tries “have much in com­mon in many ways.”

“I think he has shed any il­lu­sion about Trump that flat­ter­ing him will be a way of get­ting con­ces­sions,” said Thomas Wright, a Europe ex­pert at the Brook­ings In­sti­tu­tion.

“But he is hes­i­tant to push back hard be­cause he’s not sure what that will get him. It’s cau­tious re­al­ism.”

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