Air Force One Lands In France And Trump Immediately Picks Fight With Macron
Just minutes after Air Force One landed in France on Friday, President Donald Trump picked a fight with French President Emmanuel Macron over European 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. Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO, which the U.S. subsidizes greatly,” Trump tweeted minutes after landing in France.
Trump is set to spend the weekend in Paris to commemorate the centennial of the end of World War I.
Macron on Tuesday called for a “real European army” within the European Union, according to AFP.
“We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America,” Macron said.
Macron also suggested that since the start of Trump’s presidency, the US has been seen as a less reliable ally.
“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,” he said.
Trump’s tweet on Friday could preview another high-level international meeting in which the US President distances himself from traditional American allies. Unlike the tense G7 summit in June, however, Russian President Vladimir Putin will be present at this weekend’s commemoration.
Macron isn’t the only European leader to raise the prospect of Europe doing more for its own defense.
EU President Donald Tusk made a similar suggestion in May after Trump had pulled out of the Iran deal and the Paris climate agreement, threatened a series of trade disputes with Europe and constantly criticized NATO.
“Europe must do everything in its power to protect, in spite of today’s mood, the transatlantic bond. But at the same time we must be prepared for those scenarios, where we will have to act on our own,” Tusk said, according to CNN.
Tusk also said that the EU “should be grateful” to Trump “because, thanks to him, we have got rid of all illusions.”
“Looking at the latest decisions of President Trump, someone could even think: With friends like that, who needs enemies?” Tusk said, later adding, “He has made us realize that if you need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of your arm.”
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. Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO, which the U.S. subsidizes greatly!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2018
Trump’s tweet on Friday continues his oft-repeated misunderstanding of the way NATO works. The erratic President has consistently complained that NATO members don’t adequately contribute to the shared defense agreement, suggesting the other 28 members somehow owe the US money. Actually, all alliance members commit to spending 2% of their GDP on defense.