President Donald Trump struck a serious blow in his war of words with French President Emmanuel Macron Tuesday, firing back at the French leader for comments he made defending his country's meager contributions to NATO's defense budget by reminding Macron about France's illustrious military history. The French leader's office said Trump had lumped together Macron's remarks on protecting against cyber-threats and "interference in our democracies" from "China, Russia and even the United States" with Macron's later statement on military defence.
And in his most abrasive tweet yet mocking the increasingly unpopular Macron's imperial ambitions (no, really), Trump pointed out that, historically speaking, Europe has been its own worst enemy, and that while Macron wants to defend the Continent from the US, China and Russian Federation, "it was Germany in WWI & WWII", adding that "they were starting to learn German in Paris before the US came along".
The two men had previously enjoyed a warm friendship, with Macron becoming the first world leader to be honored with a U.S. state visit since Trump's 2017 inauguration in April this year.
Instead of responding in a tit for tat, a government spokesman said that the messages had lacked "common decency" because they came on the third anniversary of terrorist attacks in and near Paris that left 130 people dead.
In his tweet on Tuesday, Trump again referenced France's spending, writing: "Pay for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation or not!" But Trump's praise of French nationalism - and his call for making that nation "great again" - would seem to be in tension with his demand for France to sacrifice its national interests (on arms sales and wine tariffs) in the interest of fairness.
No sooner had the United States president touched down after a weekend in Paris attending centenary commemorations of the Armistice, he issued a flurry of spectacularly undiplomatic missives on Twitter.
France played an important role in the US War of Independence and the US supported France during two world wars.
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"Diplomacy is not made through tweets but through bilateral discussions", Mr Macron said during Wednesday's weekly Cabinet meeting in comments reported by Mr Griveaux.
"On Trade, France makes excellent wine, but so does the U.S.", Trump tweeted.
Trump tweeted about a suggestion by French President Emmanuel Macron that Europe build up its militaries because the continent can no longer depend on the United States for defence.
Now, he's ripping Macron's approval rating in response to the French president's rejection of nationalism, a term Trump has embraced.
Macron on Sunday called on world leaders, gathering in Paris to join a global tribute to soldiers killed during World War I, to promote multilateral policy and to avoid the errors that led to the outbreak of the grinding conflict in 1914-1918. Speech next day at American Cemetary (sic) in pouring rain!
Macron's "globalist" political philosophy, which denounces nationalism as a force for evil, accurately represents the progressive movement in Western Europe, which seeks to continually centralize power in the bureaucratic behemoth that is the European Union. "Not fair, must change!" he wrote.