Trump blasts Macron as trip to Paris be­gins

Lead­ers gather to mark World War I ar­mistice

USA TODAY Weekend Extra - - FRONT PAGE - David Jack­son

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.

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