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.”