Trump’s anger spreads from D.C. to Paris
WASHINGTON — As the blades of the Marine One helicopter whirred behind him on Friday, President Donald Trump aired grievances and spewed insults at a wide array of targets as he stood on the South Lawn of the White House preparing for an overseas trip to Paris.
Trump took aim at former president Barack Obama, former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, the husband of one of his top aides, Democrats in Congress, White House reporters, elections officials in Florida, elections officials in Arizona, the FBI and a federal judge in Montana, among others.
Taking one question after another from reporters, Trump immediately pivoted when he was asked about Michelle Obama writing in her new memoir that she would never forgive Trump for advancing the false birther claim about her husband’s citizenship that endangered her family.
Trump said that the former first lady was no doubt paid a lot of money to write her book, but he reserved his harshest words for her husband: “I’ll never forgive him for what he did to our United States military. I’ll never forgive him for what he did in many other ways, which I’ll talk to you about in the future.”
Trump, who touted his own buildup of the military, appeared to be referring to cuts in military spending that were required by the 2011 Budget Control Act backed by congressional Republicans and Democrats and signed into law by Obama. The 2010 tea party class of Republicans were intent on cutting the nation’s deficit and endorsed the spending cuts to defense and domestic programs.
On the South Lawn, Trump also took aim at a list of officials who have left the FBI since his arrival, including former director James Comey, whom Trump fired last year.
“You have a whole list of people,” he said. “There’s a lot of crooked stuff going on.”
Friday evening, as Air Force One touched down in Paris for Trump’s two-day visit for the centennial commemoration of the end of World War I, Trump sent out a tweet — one of several during the six-hour trans-Atlantic flight — taking umbrage at French President Emmanuel Macron’s comments to French radio earlier this week.
Macron called for a “true European army” to protect itself from the United States and other potential adversaries, inflaming tensions between the two men as they prepare to meet one-on-one this weekend.
“President Macron of France has just suggested that Europe build its own military in order to protect itself from the U.S., China and Russia,” Trump tweeted Friday night just before disembarking from the presidential plane. “Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO, which the U.S. subsidizes greatly!”
President Donald Trump speaks to reporters Friday morning as he departs the White House for Paris.