Macron refuses to back down after Trump attack
French President Emmanuel Macron made clear he was in no mood to back down following an extraordinary attack from President Donald Trump on Tuesday.
Sitting alongside Trump in London, Macron said he stands by his comments about NATO — he recently described the long-time coalition as suffering from “brain death” in part due to a lack of US leadership under Trump — and described the alliance as a “burden we share.”
Trump earlier on Tuesday described Macron’s “brain death” comments as “nasty” and “insulting.”
“I know that my statements created some reaction,” Macron said in English. “I do stand by [them].”
Trump struck a softer tone than earlier in the day saying that the the two leaders “have a minor dispute” — just hours after slamming the the French President.
“We’ll probably be able to work it out,” Trump said during his meeting with Macron.
Trump was complimentary of Macron, saying that they have accomplished “a lot of good things together as partners.”
On trade specifically, Trump said things will soon be looking “rosy.”
Earlier, Trump complained that the US pays “a disproportionate amount,” and that the US is the country that benefits least from NATO membership.
Trump’s remarks highlighted the widening fissures within NATO as leaders gather in the British capital to celebrate the alliance’s 70th anniversary.
“When France makes a statement like they did about NATO, it’s a very dangerous statement to make,” Trump said earlier Tuesday morning as he made remarks and took questions ahead of a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
“I do see France breaking off (from NATO). I’m looking at him and I’m saying he needs protection more than anybody and I see him breaking off, so I’m a little surprised at that,” Trump added.