Trump calls French pres­i­dent good friend

Connecticut Post (Sunday) - - News -

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron tried to project unity Satur­day af­ter Trump had lashed out at one of Amer­ica’s strong­est al­lies in Europe, claim­ing Macron in­sulted the United States when he pushed the idea of the con­ti­nent hav­ing its own de­fense force.

The Amer­i­can and French lead­ers, who have had an up- and- down re­la­tion­ship, told re­porters they were good friends be­fore go­ing be­hind closed doors for talks at the El­y­see Palace. It was Trump’s first stop on a week­end trip to Paris where dozens of world lead­ers were gath­er­ing to com­mem­o­rate Sun­day’s 100th an­niver­sary of the end of World War I.

Trump also had been sched­uled to visit the Aisne- Marne Amer­i­can Ceme­tery at Bel­leau Wood on Satur­day, but can­celed be­cause of rainy weather that grounded the pres­i­den­tial he­li­copter. The pres­i­dent was crit­i­cized for not find­ing a way to get to the ceme­tery, which is about a two- hour drive east of Paris, where Amer­i­cans killed in World War I are buried. The White House sent a del­e­ga­tion that in­cluded chief of staff John Kelly in his place.

His frac­tious, desta­bi­liz­ing re­la­tion­ship with Europe has driven a wedge be­tween the U. S. and some of its old­est al­lies on is­sues in­clud­ing trade, de­fense spend­ing and his seem­ing def­er­ence to their loom­ing neigh­bor to the east, Rus­sia’s Vladimir Putin.

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