Trump, Macron seek to diffuse tension before WWI anniversary
PARIS (AP) — United States President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron yesterday sought to diffuse tensions over comments by both leaders that threatened to cast a shadow over a weekend celebration marking 100 years since the end of World War I.
The American and French leaders, who have had somewhat of an up-anddown relationship, worked to project unity of opinion over whether Europe should create an army of its own.
Their meeting got off to a testy start. Trump unleashed an angry Twitter jab at his French host as he arrived in France late Friday. He tweeted that Macron “has just suggested that Europe build its own military in order to protect itself from the US, China and Russia. Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO, which the US subsidizes greatly!”
Macron’s office said Trump misunderstood Macron’s comments.
The leaders met yesterday at the Elysee Palace and, asked about the tweet, Trump said Macron “understand(s) that the United States can only do so much,” adding that the US wants to help. Trump added that he and Macron are “getting along from the standpoint of fairness.”
Macron defended his viewpoint, saying, “I do share President Trump’s views that we need a much better burden sharing with NATO and that’s why I do believe that my proposal for a European defense” is “utterly consistent with that.”
US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron meet at the Elysee Palace in Paris yesterday. Trump is joining other world leaders at centennial commemorations in Paris this weekend to mark the end of World War I.