Published: Wed, November 14, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Macron 'bromance' on rocks as United States leader lashes ally

Macron 'bromance' on rocks as United States leader lashes ally

U.S. President Donald Trump launched verbal assaults Tuesday on France and President Emmanuel Macron, citing his low voter approval ratings and attacking French tariffs on U.S. wine exports and failure to meet NATO's defense spending goal.

"Beautiful ceremony today in Paris commemorating the end of World War One", Trump tweeted Sunday about the ceremony he missed.

On Tuesday, Mr Trump tweeted about Mr Macron's suggestion Europe should build up its militaries because the continent can no longer depend on the U.S. for its defence.

"He was just trying to get onto another subject", Trump wrote.

Trump continued in a play on his own campaign slogan, before turning to what he slammed as protectionist French tariffs on U.S. wine - saying they were "not fair, must change!"

Trump conceded that while France makes "very good wine" (an interesting claim from Trump, who doesn't drink), the country "makes it hard for the United States to sell its wine into France, and charges very big tariffs". "Not fair, must change!"

In his latest rebuke of the French president - who last week called for a "real European army" to defend the continent against China, Russia and even the US - Mr Trump appeared to insult the role played by Paris in both of the conflicts.

'They were starting to learn German in Paris before the USA came along.

In a series of tweets, the United States leader appeared to lash out at the idea of a European army - which Mr Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently suggested could be a good idea "one day" - and demanded that France "pay for NATO".

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Mr Macron's rallying cry was echoed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a peace forum in the city later in the day, but neither warning seems likely to be heeded by Mr Trump.

"On Trade, France makes excellent wine, but so does the U.S".

Macron called nationalism, which Trump has extolled, a "betrayal of patriotism" and warned against nationalist sentiments worldwide that posed the danger of "old demons coming back to wreak chaos and death".

President Trump's Twitter outburst received swift, widespread backlash, prompting Harvard professor Fredrik Logevall to marvel how a president could so easily insult one of the United States' longest and most loyal allies.

Former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt quickly hit back at Trump, tweeting that "without French money, the US would not even exist" since it was France that financed the American Revolution.

Trump claimed that there was "almost zero visibility" which grounded the helicopter and that he himself suggested driving, but was told it was impossible by secret services.

Critics pounced on Trump after the White House announced that he would not visit the cemetery on Saturday, with many noting that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a trip to a cemetery in Vimy, which is 118 miles outside Paris, in the rain. "Little reported-Fake News!" he added, though his address was widely covered.

"Speech next day at American Cemetary in pouring rain!"

Trump cancelled a military parade in Washington D.C. and opted to travel to France for the centennial events. "We're not supposed to use that word, '" Trump added.

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