Trump blasts Macron as trip to Paris begins
Leaders gather to mark World War I armistice
PARIS - President Donald Trump landed in Paris on Friday night with a special gift for French counterpart Emmanuel Macron – a tweet criticizing Macron over his suggestion for a new European military.
For good measure, Trump threw in another attack on NATO, claiming the European military alliance doesn’t pay enough for mutual defense.
“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 before Air Force One landed in Paris.
“Very insulting,” Trump added, “but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO, which the U.S. subsidizes greatly!”
The two presidents are scheduled to meet Saturday morning at the French
president’s official residence, Élysée
Palace, in Paris.
Some 60 world leaders, including Trump, have headed to Paris for events to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.
Trump’s “America First” foreign policy has drawn criticism from Macron and other European leaders who say he is undermining long-standing western alliances like NATO.
For example, Macron criticized Trump’s recent decision to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, a 1987 arms control deal designed to prohibit Russia from developing mid-range missiles capable of reaching Western European cities.
In an interview with Europe 1 radio earlier this week, Macron talked about creating a “true, European army,” because “we have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America.”
He cited Trump’s decision on the INF: “When I see President Trump announcing that he’s quitting a major disarmament treaty which was formed after the 1980s Euro-missile crisis that hit Europe, who is the main victim? Europe and its security.”
Trump says his “America First” foreign policy is designed to make other countries treat the United States more “fairly.” He has argued that the U.S. has borne too many of the burdens of global defense and that other nations are “ripping us off” through free trade.
But critics say Trump and some other world leaders are following the kind of nationalist path that, a century ago, led to the Great Depression and eventually to World War II.
In the two decades after the First World War ended in 1918, the U.S. turned inward, shunned the leadership of international organizations and practiced economic protectionism through tariffs on other country’s products.
“We may be repeating history by returning to the kinds of policies of the 1920s and 1930s,” said Ivo Daalder, coauthor of “The Empty Throne: America’s Abdication of Global Leadership.”
“Out of those decisions,” Daalder said, “came rampant political, economic, and military nationalism that ultimately led to the re-start of war in 1939.”
“You have nationalists, you have globalists,” Trump said this week at the White House. “I also love the world – and I don’t mind helping the world – but we have to straighten out our country first. We have a lot of problems.”
President Donald Trump meets again with French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday.